For anyone who loves macaroons, these chewy, cranberry-speckled no-bake cookies should help you satisfy your coconut cravings.
Feel free to decorate these cookies however you like. We prefer to roll them in yet more shredded coconut (toasted is a nice touch), but you also could roll them in chopped pistachios, peanuts, hazelnuts; even pine nuts would be delicious. Or for a sweeter version, get colored decorating sugar from the baking supply shop and roll them in that.
NO-BAKE CRANBERRY COCONUT BITES
Start to finish: 1 hour (20 minutes active)
Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 cups shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped dried cranberries
1 cup toasted shredded coconut, finely chopped nuts or colored sugar
In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the sweetened condensed milk, 4 cups of shredded coconut, the water, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until it forms a thick paste, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cranberries, then set aside off the heat and allow to cool completely.
Once the mixture has cooled, set out a bowl of toasted coconut, finely chopped nuts or colored sugar. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls, then roll each ball in the coating of your choice. The cookies should be stored in an airtight container between layers of kitchen parchment or waxed paper.
Nutrition information per cookie: 110 calories; 60 calories from fat (55 per cent of total calories); 6 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrate; 2 g fibre; 11 g sugar; 1 g protein; 15 mg sodium.
By Alison Ladman, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
No-Bake Cranberry Coconut Bites
Photograph by: AP Photo, Matthew Mead