So many of my Christmas memories involve food. It’s funny how as a kid I wrote Santa for toys and loads of other things and then waited anxiously for Christmas morning to arrive. Now decades later, I am not sure I remember much of what miracles arrived under our many decorated trees, but I do remember amazing cookies. As a child these cookies always just seemed to magically appear. My mother must have spent endless hours baking all these special seasonal treats. Some of her cookies were only made at holiday time. Those were our sacred Christmas cookies. Over the years my mother has baked less and less. She really shouldn’t have to bake at all with three adult daughters able to do it for her. I am sure her original Christmas baking repertoire held dozens of varieties. One cookie stands out for me and I have not seen it made by any of the Taylor family in a very long time -cherry balls. As a child these were easy to sneak without my mother knowing. Most of her cookies were stored in tins on the kitchen counter, so if I tried to take one (or perhaps two) she usually noticed. But those heavenly cherry balls were less obviously stored on our fridge’s bottom shelf. I would act as if I was getting a glass of milk or juice and then quickly pop one of these beauties into my mouth without my mother ever knowing (or at least admitting to). They were perfectly bite sized. No crumbs,. No evidence. Last week I rummaged through my mother’s old recipes and found her magnificent cherry balls. I can’t believe I have not made these before. They are so easy as you do not have to even bake them. And they are just as delicious as I so fondly remember.
Cherry Ball Ingredients
4 dozen maraschino cherries
1 cup unsalted butter
3 cups icing sugar
3 cups desiccated sweetened coconut
2 tablespoons of orange juice
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
– drain cherries
– ensure cherries are REALLY dry/ I put my cherries on a paper towel to continue to absorb the cherry juice
– cream butter, sugar, and juice until fluffy
– add coconut and mix well until all coconut is blended through
– take each cherry and wrap mixture around cherry to make a ball – ensure entire cherry is covered
– after all cherries have been wrapped in coconut mixture roll each ball in graham cracker crumbs
and it is THAT EASY – your no-bake cookies are done!
– place in fridge and let sit for 2-3 hrs
– store in fridge/ remove 10 minutes before serving
– will keep in fridge for 2-3 weeks
Here is where I get to cleverly point out something else. Notice the amazing cookie packaging? I made it using an old pen box and I then taped it with Washi Tape (I got mine from Michael’s). It was the perfect size for these delicate cherry balls. This tiny treat package would make a great hostess gift. Just add ribbon and a card and you have created memorable Christmas cheer.