Cherry Date Dainties

I love making old family recipes, especially around the holidays.  This cookie/candy treat comes from my wife’s side of the family and has quickly become one of my favorites this time of year.  Dainties have everything you want in a Christmas treat – sweet, chewy crunchy and festive-looking!  The combination of cherries, dates and nuts isn’t unique, but the crunch given by the addition of crispy rice cereal is.  And who can resist the snowy indulgence of coconut??

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CHERRY DATE DAINTIES

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Chopped Dates
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Crispy Rice Cereal
  • 3/4 Cup Maraschino Cherries, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1 Tsp. Vanilla
  • Dash Salt
  • 1 Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan, combine dates, sugar and eggs.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  • Cook/boil for 10 minutes until dates break down and mixture becomes almost smooth.  Continue to stir constantly or the mixture will stick and burn.
  • Remove from heat and stir in salt and vanilla.
  • Add cereal, cherries and walnuts.  Stir until mixture is evenly coated.
  • Turn mixture out onto a plate or pan and allow to cool until you can handle.
  • Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and then roll into coconut to lightly coat.
  • Cookies will keep up to 2 weeks.

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This is an easy recipe, but a little tough to execute.  The mixture is VERY sticky and makes it hard to handle.  I like to take a small spoonful of the dough and place it on the coconut and then use the coconut as a barrier to press and roll the cookies.  It doesn’t have to be exactly round as the cherries and flaked coating make them look wintry and festive.  Give them a try and keep this one in your go-to cookie recipes for the holidays.  Dig in!

Coconut Cookies

Let the holiday cookie-making continue!  My wife introduced me to one of her favorites back when we were dating and they quickly became one of my favorites too.  Here’s the twist, there’s no coconut in them!  The interesting combination of instant mashed potato flakes and coconut flavoring will fool anyone.  And you will absolutely love the crispy edges and chewy middles with a hot chocolate or coffee by the fireside.

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COCONUT COOKIES

Ingredients

  • 1 Package or 1 1/3 Cups Instant Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 Cup Bisquick (or similar baking mix)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Margarine, Softened
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tsp. Coconut Flavoring

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl cream together butter and sugar.  Add coconut flavoring and mix well.
  • Add egg and beat well with an electric mixer.
  • Stir in Bisquick and potato flakes, with a spoon, until mixture comes together.
  • Cover and chill cookie dough in refrigerator for 1 hour or longer.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Form dough into 1-inch balls and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes until edges are lightly browned.
  • Remove from oven and put cookies on a wire rack to cool thoroughly.
  • Store in a covered container.

Simple, weird and totally delicious!  Try making a batch of these this year for something a little different on your cookie platter.  I hope you love them as much as we do.  Dig in!