Easy-Peasy Can Be Fancy-Shmancy

By Bianca Bruno

While everyone and their mother may be going on post-holiday cleanses and/or diets, it is still fun to indulge in baking delicious goodies that will make all of your suffering friends envious of your sweet skills. Rather than throw away your leftover baking supplies from the holidays, make some quick batches of these super-easy cookies and give them to those you may have forgotten on your gift list, or who unexpectedly gave you a present despite the fact that you are truthfully only kind-of-sort-of friends (aka acquaintances). Homemade gifts are not to be beat, and these recipes from my family’s arsenal will surely become go-to’s in your own kitchen. While they are simple, they taste just like the recipes from Bon Appetit that have a million obscure ingredients and take hours of work. But be warned: once you give these to your friends, expect requests and demands for these every year.




Coconut Joys
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 cups powdered sugar
3 cups coconut (sweetened, shredded)
Semisweet or milk chocolate chips for melting (about a cup)

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar and coconut, mixing well. Shape mixture into small balls. Place on cookie sheet and make a small indent in the top of each cookie using the tip of your finger. Fill the centers of the indent with melted chocolate. Chill until firm, at least an hour. Store in refrigerator.
Makes 3 dozen cookies

Cracker Candy
1 sleeve Saltine Crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 bag chocolate chips (12 oz)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a cookie sheet (the kind with a lip) with foil. Lay crackers in rows on the cookie sheet, being sure that they don’t overlap. Heat butter and brown sugar over medium heat to a boil. Continue to boil for two minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over the crackers, using a spatula to spread the carmel as evenly as possible. Heat in oven for five minutes. Take out the candy and sprinkle chocolate chips over it. Cover with another cookie sheet or piece of foil and let sit for five to 10 minutes until the chocolate chips are soft and melted. Spread melted chocolate chips over crackers with a spatula and refrigerate for at least two hours. Peel foil off bottom of candy and break into pieces. Serve immediately.


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