Saturday, December 7, 2013

No-Bake Pistachio Cranberry Caramel Cookies

These are about the easiest cookies I've ever made, though they more closely resemble a candy than a cookie, I guess. I imagine all kinds of dried fruits and different nuts in these...dried cherries, apricots, almonds, pine nuts... My recipe was adapted from this recipe for Coconut Pecan Praline Cookies.

I'd like to experiment with a version that is not quite so sweet as this batch.  I've got some good ideas brewing...So keep your eyes peeled for another recipe just in time for your Christmas cookie platter this year!

No-Bake Pistachio Cranberry Caramel Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies, depending on size

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup artificial maple syrup (or corn syrup)
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup roughly chopped pistachios (salted or lightly salted)
2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios
1 cup chopped dried cranberries

Combine nuts and dried berries in a bowl and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium high heat, stir together sugars, syrup, milk and butter.  Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes, stirring.

Remove from heat. Stir in extracts, nuts and berries (reserving 2 tablespoons of nuts for topping). Stir for a minute or two until the mixture begins to thicken. Drop small spoonfuls of the mixture onto parchment paper. Sprinkle the finely chopped nuts onto the cookies while they are still warm.  Let cool and serve.

I actually stirred mine longer than I wanted and ended up with thick mounded cookies. Next time, I will scoop the "dough" out when it's thinner so the cookies spread out into thin wafers. These cookies are very sweet and I think that small thin wafers would be the perfect sweet treat along with black coffee or a hot cup of tea.

Happy holiday baking (and non-baking)!!


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