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RECIPE: No-bake holiday treats

If you're daunted by making cookies this holiday season, try these no-bake peanut butter bonbons and coconut joys, instead!
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Making holiday cookies can be an all-day effort, covering your kitchen in flour and frustration and ruining your festive spirits. 

Homemade candy is an alternative holiday tradition that can be stress-free!

Kowalski’s Markets Culinary Director Rachael Perron is joining KARE 11 Saturday from her home kitchen to share two seasonal recipes for no-bake treats that don’t even require a candy thermometer.

Peanut Butter Bonbons 

Makes about 36 pieces

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup salted butter (or ½ cup unsalted butter plus ¼ tsp. kosher salt)
  • 1 tsp. Madagascar Vanilla Extract
  • 1 lb. (about 3 ¾ cups) confectioner’s sugar
  • 8-9 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, combine peanut butter and butter. Heat mixture in 30 second increments until almost melted; stir until smooth.
  2.  Stir in vanilla; add sugar, stirring quickly until well combined. 
  3. Form balls approx. ¾-1" in diameter; chill until firm (at least 30 minutes). 
  4. In a small microwave-safe mixing bowl, microwave chocolate at 50% power in 30 second increments until almost melted; stir between intervals. 
  5. One at a time, use a fork to dip balls in melted chocolate and place candy on a parchment-lined baking sheet; refrigerate until set. 
  6. Store in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to two weeks.

Coconut Joys

Makes about 36 pieces

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 ¾ cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup finely chopped sliced almonds
  • ½ cup (approx.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. Madagascar Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 8-9 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together coconut, sugar and almonds. Add ½ cup sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt; stir until smooth (if needed, add very small amounts of sweetened condensed milk to combine the mixture; it should just barely hold together, but the sugar should be fully dissolved). 
  2. Form balls approx. ¾-1" in diameter; chill until firm (at least 30 minutes). 
  3. In a small microwave-safe mixing bowl, microwave chocolate at 50% power in 30 second increments until almost melted; stir between intervals. 
  4. One at a time, use a fork to dip balls in melted chocolate and place candy on a parchment-lined baking sheet; refrigerate until set. 
  5. Store in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to two weeks.