I’m pretty beat.
I’m ready for Christmas so that I can just relax, and work will stop being a whirlwind of people scrambling to get massive projects done at the last minute. I work in n industry where people being “last minute lucys” turns into our problem if we can’t make a 2-day job happen in 1-hour.
Of course, the 2-day job in 1 hour could potentially happen if everybody wasn’t working on the same deadline.
Such is life. There is a calm after the storm just like there is one before it.
And at least I had time to make these this weekend.
After making my Mounds Balls, I quickly realized 20 balls for 5 hungry people (some going to families) was not going to cut it – especially at the rate that those balls are demanded. I made some again the next morning.
But, you may know me enough by now that I couldn’t just do the same ol’ Mounds Balls as I made the night before. When my eye caught the dried cranberries I’d picked up, I decided to work them in there, too.
Part of me also really wanted to work in some almond butter, but I resisted on the basis that even I am not completely sold on eating almond butter straight up, and so didn’t think I could convince anyone else of it, either.
Then I wanted to make another batch with peanut butter – but aren’t there already peanut butter balls made with sugar and graham crackers and rolled in chocolate? Buckeyes or something? So I passed.
I like to remain relatively original. Hence why I don’t bake things like chocolate chip cookies. It breeds for comparison, and I’m really not that good of a baker. I dare you to find someone who doesn’t have a “favorite” chocolate chip cookie. Now think of how many people you know that have a favorite lemon poppyseed cookie. I rest my case. I will never be able to compete against people’s favorite chocolate chip cookies, no matter how good mine are.
I used (and recommend) marcona almonds for this recipe – but I’m sure any almonds would be fine. I just enjoy the salty, smooth marcona almonds to contrast the sweetness of the coconut, and cranberry.
And FWIW, my disclaimers about this recipe are the same as they were for the Mounds Balls. I am in no way, shape or form declaring these to be healthified. They are, however, an enjoyable treat that gets you out of ay kind of trouble. Though maybe not quiiiiite as easily as the Mounds Balls do
Cranberry-Almond Coconut Balls
for 21 balls:
- scant 3/4 c. confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 c. date syrup
- 1/4 c. coconut oil, softened but not liquid
- 1 c. finely shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 c. dried cranberries (I think mine were fruit juice-sweetened, though only because I have a terrible time finding unsweetened!)
- 1/4 c. finely chopped marcona almonds
- 1/2 bag dark chocolate chips
- 1” square parafin wax, finely chopped
- 1 square baker’s chocolate, finely chopped
Cream together the date syrup, sugar and coconut oil. When smooth, add in the coconut, cranberries and almonds. Mix to combine, then chill for approx. 30 minutes.
When chilled, line a small baking sheet with waxed paper. Roll the coconut mixture into about tablespoon-sized balls, and place on the paper. Try and make sure they’re not touching. Freeze for at least an hour, or overnight.
When balls are frozen, set up a double boiler on the stove with the chocolate chips, wax and baker’s chocolate. Heat until smooth and thoroughly melted. When ready, remove from heat and drop the balls in a few at a time, using the spoon and your fingers to thoroughly coat. Place back on the waxed paper baking sheets when done, and chill/freeze when set.
I toasted some coconut and marcona almonds to sprinkle on top, too – which is entirely optional but an added touch. You’ll need to sprinkle it on a couple of seconds after you place the balls on the sheets, though, as the wax casues it to set pretty quick.
I preferred these over the Mounds Balls, but most likely because I like “different” things.
What about you – do you like to break the mold, or do you tend to go with the flow?