It's the holiday season! More specifically, it's cookie season! I love making, giving away (and eating) Christmas cookies. But it's been a long time since I have enjoyed many of the cookies I grew up making, so this year I decided I wanted to create real-food versions of some of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes.
First up, Christmas Wreath cookies!
This cookie is traditionally a mix of corn flakes, marshmallows, and butter. So let's look at the ingredients...
The butter is already a real food!
Marshmallows I have made before, modified from Mommypotamus' marshmallow recipe.
So all I had to do was figure out a substitution for the corn flakes (and see if the marshmallows actually work the same as the commercial variety). Challenge accepted!
Christmas Wreath Cookies
Makes about 36 cookies (recipe can be halved)
2 cups honey
1 cup of filtered water
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp sea salt
For Wreath Cookies
Marshmallow paste (above)
8 ounces organic butter
14 cups coconut flakes (approximately 20 ounces)
Red hots (my homemade recipe)
Natural food coloring, blue and yellow packets (I used this one)
Place the coconut flakes in the oven at 200°
Toast the coconut until they are light brown—this makes the cookies crispier! When done, remove them from the oven Place in a large bowl, set aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat When melted, remove from heat and set aside Next, make the marshmallow paste. See recipe here.
Soften the gelatin
While gelatin is softening... Heat honey and water in a medium saucepan (medium to high heat), stirring frequently, until it reaches the soft ball candy stage (about 235°F).
If you don't have a thermometer, you can check by dripping the heated honey into a glass of cold water. When the candy forms a ball, it is ready!
When the honey has reached the soft ball stage, remove from heat. Add the heated mixture to the softened gelatin in a large bowl. Add vanilla.
Do these steps quickly, you don't want honey mixture to cool off too much!
Whisk the mixture using an electric mixer or stand mixer for about 10 minutes.
When the mixture is thick and looks like marshmallow paste, it's done!
If you want marshmallows, you can stop here. Put the marshmallow paste in a greased glass 9x11 dish and allow to cool and dry for a 24-36 hrs. Then cut up and serve.
But we are not stopping here! To make traditional Christmas wreath cookies you melt the marshmallows and turn them back into paste-which is what you just created!
Next, stir the melted butter into the mixture. It will deflate the mixture somewhat, this is normal.
Mix in the blue and yellow food coloring packets. This will turn it green (not neon green—that's an artificial color). But when it's made into wreathes it does look green—although you're going to have to take my word for it!
Pour the marshmallow mixture into the bowl with the toasted coconut flakes. Mix until the flakes are coated.
Finally, form the warm mixture into wreath-shaped cookies on parchment paper.
Add decorative red hots as berries (see my homemade recipe) Allow to cool.
See, I told you they look green!
All that's left is to share and enjoy these delicious treats!
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