Fruity inspirations: No-bake cranberry coconut bites

The 12 cookies of Christmas

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For anyone who loves macaroons, these chewy, cranberry-speckled no-bake cookies should help you satisfy your coconut cravings.

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No-bake cranberry coconut bites  MATTHEW MEAD/ASSOCIATED PRESS
MATTHEW MEAD/ASSOCIATED PRESS
No-bake cranberry coconut bites

Feel free to decorate these cookies however you like. We prefer to roll them in yet more shredded coconut, but you also could roll them in chopped pistachios, peanuts, even pine nuts would be delicious. Or get colored decorating sugar and roll them in that.

NO-BAKE CRANBERRY COCONUT BITES

Start to finish: 1 hour (20 minutes active)

Makes 3½ dozen cookies

14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

4 cups shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened

½ cup water

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Pinch salt

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 percent of total calories); 6 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 1 g protein; 15 mg sodium.

Reader recipe: Sour Cream Cookies

Jeanie Mellick, of Martinez, submitted this recipe for Sour Cream Cookies and called it “Our Favorite Cookie.”

 2 cups sugar

1 cups shortening (or butter)

2 eggs

1 teaspoons baking soda

6 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

 Mix well. Roll out on floured board. Cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Makes 10-12 dozen. Spread cookies on large towel on table, cool and frost.

 To make the frosting:

1 egg white

2 cups powdered sugar

½ teaspoon almond extract

 Mix well with electric mixer. Divide into several bowls. Thin with water and food color to consistency of eggnog. Brush or spoon onto cookies. Add sugar sprinkles. Let dry.

ABOUT THE 12 COOKIES OF CHRISTMAS

SATURDAY: Honeyed apricot tassies

SUNDAY: Cherry lime brownies

MONDAY: Oatmeal blues drop cookies

TUESDAY: Strawberry pistachio icebox

TODAY: Cranberry coconut bites

THURSDAY: Mango marshmallow bars

FRIDAY: Apple-orange spice drops

DEC. 21: PB&J cookies

DEC. 22: Ice cream cone date bars

DEC. 23: Kitchen sink cookies

DEC. 24: Brown butter fig thumbprints

DEC. 25: Tropical almond macaroons

SHARE YOUR FAVORITE RECIPES

Send us your favorite Christmas cookie recipe and we’ll include some of your submissions during the 12 Cookies of Christmas series. Send e-mails to james.folker@augustachronicle.com; letters to 725 Broad St., Augusta, GA 30901; faxes to (706) 722-7403.


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