72°F
weather icon Clear

Divas on a Dime: Confessions of a no-bake cookie connoisseur

You know those times when you crave something sweet and only a homemade treat will do? I must admit, this happens to me all the time. I just need that “quick cookie fix.” But with the summer heat, this calls for a no-bake cookie recipe. Why heat up the house if we don’t have to?

When it comes to no-bake cookies, I’ve probably tried them all. And I love them all. Most no-bake recipes call for melting chocolate, marshmallows or peanut butter and mixing in things like oatmeal or cereal. But I must confess, I’m addicted to a simple recipe that’s even better. One that I’m powerless to resist. If you love an easy no-bake recipe that is part cookie, part candy, you’re going to love this.

Buckle up buttercup because we’re making Praline Cookies. They have a creamy, caramelly, almost fudge-like consistency. The nuts and coconut give beautiful texture.

When I think of praline, I think of New Orleans. So, if you’re a praline purist, you must purpose pecans in place of the peanuts. I used peanuts because they’re more affordable, and my family enjoys peanuts. But check for peanut allergies if you plan to take these to a gathering.

NO-BAKE COCONUT PEANUT PRALINE COOKIES

What You’ll Need:

2 ½ cups (12 ounces) Spanish peanuts

2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

2 ½ cups granulated sugar

½ cup evaporated milk

1 stick (½ cup) salted butter

½ cup corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Here’s How:

In a medium-sized bowl, combine coconut and peanuts and set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar, evaporated milk, butter and corn syrup. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Let it continue to boil and stir for 3 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and the coconut peanut mixture. Remove from heat.

Stir for about 5 more minutes, until mixture starts to cool and thicken. Drop by spoonfuls on wax or parchment paper. The mixture must cool a little before you spoon them, or they run all over and won’t look very appetizing.

Allow the cookies to harden completely, about an hour and a half before serving. Makes about 20 large cookies.

This recipe lends itself to variations. You can make the praline base as directed and switch out the nuts. As I mentioned, pecans are traditional in the American South. Almonds are traditional in France. You can also make an “Everything Cookie” and go through your baking pantry using up all the bits left over from other recipes.

Please note, if you mix in chocolate chips while the praline mixture is hot, they will melt into the praline. Not a terrible thing. But if you’d like to keep the praline pristine, let it cool until thickened and freeze your chocolate chips before adding. Chocolate covered espresso beans are ridiculously good made into pralines. Just sayin’.

Next time you crave a scrumptious confection, give this recipe a try. Then we can share a praline obsession together. Our little secret, ok?

Frugal and Fabulous Food by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Website and blog – www.divasonadime.com Join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Divas on a Dime: Versatility makes frozen lemonade a food favorite

I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive ingredients that can be used in lots of recipes. I’m especially happy when I find unexpected uses for a common ingredient. So, I was wandering the frozen foods aisle and did a doubletake on a can of frozen lemonade and the wheels began to turn.

Divas on a Dime: How to beat the heat with ice pop treats

There are few things more refreshing on a hot summer’s day than cooling down with a flavorful ice pop. But before you dash to the grocery store, consider making ice pops at home. Store bought pops are often chockablock full of sugar, artificial flavoring and dyes. How else can you get those neon colors not found in nature? While it’s fun for the kiddies to stick out their electric blue tongues, we can make better-for-you pops they will love.

List: July 4 activities in the Pahrump region

Here is a look at Fourth of July activities in the region: Pahrump’s Independence Day parade is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 4 at the Calvada Eye, off of South Highway 160 and encircling the Nye County Board of Commissioners’ complex along Walt Williams Drive. A $5 pancake and sausage breakfast, from VFW Post 10054, is planned from 6 to 7 a.m. July Fourth at the Calvada Eye on the grass, Linda Wright, the lead organizer of the parade, said in a recent interview. She has said that organizers are looking for additional parade participants. Today, July 3, is the deadline to sign up to take part in the parade. The entry fee is $25. Wright can be reached at 775-419-7857.

Fourth of July set to be a bang in Nye County

The Fourth of July is less than a week away and communities all across Nye County are readying for celebrations in honor of Independence Day.

Divas on a Dime: How to host a big party on a little budget

With Independence Day just around the corner, summer is in full swing and it’s party time! Here’s an easy strategy to host a grand party without a grand budget: throw a tasting party. Doesn’t everyone enjoy sampling food and drink? It gives people a chance to interact, share and find new favorites.

Beatty Museum hosts Nevada photo exhibit

The Beatty Museum is hosting an exhibit titled “Home Means Nevada,” from the Nevada Touring Initiative, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nevada Arts Council, with funding by MGM Resorts and Barrick Gold.

Divas on a Dime: A surprise ingredient makes the easiest jam ever

I remember every summer my mom would make the best jams and jellies with all the perfectly ripe seasonal fruits. She made strawberry, peach, plum, apricot, even strawberry rhubarb jam. All the fruits! She’d fill the pantry and we’d have summer-fresh flavor all year long.