We are seeking Joy in our lives during these dark days. There is the physical darkness as we approach the shortest day of the year, coupled with gloomy, cloudy days, and there is the darkness in our hearts as we mourn with the families in Newtown, CT. As we were reminded in yesterday's Gaudete Sunday homily, Joy is only to be found in Jesus. If we put our faith in earthly things, or look to them for happiness, we will be disappointed. So, we're taking pleasure in the little, happy moments in our lives, and appreciating them as gifts from God.
We celebrated yesterday by enjoying having the whole family together again. My big boys are finally both home from college, so we could all decorate the Christmas tree, which has been sitting bare in the living room for a couple of weeks.
With the assistance of Pippo and my Dear Husband, I made what I think are the family's favorite Christmas cookie.
Orange Coconut Balls
These are one of the staples that my Dear Mother+ made every Christmas. I don't think I ever got the recipe from her before she got sick, so I had to find one on the internet, and I think it's the same. I'm putting it here for my children who may never get around to asking for their favorite childhood recipes. The linked recipe calls for 4 cups of sugar, which I cut in half. I haven't noticed a lack of taste; the dough may be a little more moist. It also suggests rolling them in chopped pecans, which might be good, but seems a little sacrilegious to me!
Orange Coconut Balls
1 12oz package of vanilla wafers, crushed
2 cups of sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 6oz. can orange juice concentrate
1 bag of coconut flakes
Mix the first 4 ingredients together. Shape dough into 1" balls, and roll them in coconut. Chill.
Yesterday, we accidentally put in waaay too much orange concentrate, but were able to save them simply by adding unsweetened coconut to the dough until it was the right consistency. I'm glad I had it on hand because it didn't change the flavor at all.
Super easy and yummy. I love that tangy, orange flavor in every bite. To me, it's like a little burst of joy, so these were perfect for yesterday.
Just do me a favor....if you're making these with your children, make sure they wash their hands and understand that they can't pick/wipe their noses or lick their fingers until they're all done! Because....gross. Especially in a no-bake cookie. I can tolerate a little laxity in a baked cookie!
Please tell me about your favorite Christmas cookies! I'll share the other two biggies as we make them.