I watched in awe this past weekend as Sharon baked scores of carrot cupcakes and hundreds of oatmeal-raisin and chocolate chip cookies for “Cheers for Change,” her first big fundraising event for the Central Outreach & Advocacy Center in Atlanta, a nonprofit whose mission is to find sustainable solutions to homelessness. Not only did Sharon make the sweets for this party, she baked the savory stuff too–dozens and dozens of slider rolls for pulled chicken and crisp crostini for the exquisite cheeses Kerrygold donated to her cause.
Sharon has clearly carved out her role as chief baker in our family. I’m not sure if it’s because she picked up the baking mantle or if I’m just less interested, but I’m definitely baking less. I do still love my little afternoon treat, but I prefer sweets that are good for me too.
Here’s something I’ve been enjoying lately: (Four-Ingredient No-Bake!) Cherry-Walnut-Coconut Bites. A variation on the classic date-nut bar, these little bites include dried cherries or cranberries too. If you can find red walnuts-we get them at Whole Foods– they make these mounds look even more festive.
As I think about what I’ll be including in this year’s holiday food bags, these will likely make the list. I’ve already made the case for their taste, healthfulness, and good looks. Now check out how easy they are to make. They’re no-bake!
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
- 1 cup walnut pieces, plus extra for garnish
- 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut, divided
- Place dates, cherries, walnuts, and ¾ cup coconut in a food processor; process until ground.
- Add 1 tablespoon of water; continue to process, adding a teaspoon more at time, until mixture comes together.
- Using a tablespoon measure, form mixture into mounds, press a piece of walnut into the mixture to adhere. Dredge mounds in remaining coconut. Serve. (Can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of weeks.)