Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s going to need Rudolph’s Red Nose to guide his sleigh! Let’s kick off my new 24 Cookies of Christmas countdown with Rudolph’s Red Nose Cookies!
It’s that time of year again, Dear Reader! Just like last year when I published my first recipe from my 24 Cookies of Christmas series, I’m back at it again! Rudolph’s Red Nose Cookies are the first in Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas – Volume 2!!
Last year, my goal was to start off the series with cookies that were more time consuming and work toward easier cookies as we got closer to Christmas. This year, I’m kicking off the series with an easy cookie first – just to get you in the spirit!
There’s just one difference for Volume 2. Unlike last year when I posted 24 consecutive recipes, this year, I’ll only publish from Monday to Friday. I need to rest on the weekends, because I nearly burnt myself out last year. There will be 24 recipes posted back to back, but not on the weekends. Let’s get to it!
Rudolph’s Red Nose Cookies are very easy to make. There’s no stove top or oven required at all. You just need to get your hands dirty! These cookies are for everyone! They’re cute and delicious; and if you don’t care for candied cherries, you can just remove it and eat the rest!
SHOULD I BE CONCERNED WITH THE TYPE OF COCONUT?
Yes! In essence, when it comes to coconut to bake with, there are two kinds – sweetened and unsweetened. Those two types can be found in different levels of fineness and coarseness.
It’s important to use unsweetened coconut, otherwise, with the addition of the sweetened condensed milk and confectioner’s sugar, Rudolph’s Red Nose Cookies will be basically too sweet to eat!
You’ll also want a fine or medium shredded coconut. A large shred or coconut flakes will prevent you from getting a perfectly rounded shape. And, desiccated coconut is just too fine! I used a medium shredded coconut.
MORE CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPES!
Did you know that I’ve been posting a 24 Cookies of Christmas series for a few years now? There are over 100 Christmas cookie recipes that you can find right here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen! To make it easier to find, I have created a page for each series. Just click on the image below and you’ll find the full series for that volume all one page!
CANDIED CHERRIES VS GLACE CHERRIES
Guess what, Dear Reader!? They’re the same thing! I was always led to believe that glace cherries were the smaller diced cherries that you would find in a fruitcake, but that’s not the case. Glace cherries (as well as candied cherries) are indeed real cherries contrary to popular belief!
Candied cherries are basically maraschino cherries that have been processed in a thick, sugary syrup. They become intensely sweet and take on a chewy texture, which works very well in baked goods.
You can find candied cherries anywhere, but I always get mine from Paradise Inc., out of Florida. They are the brightest and plumpest cherries I’ve ever used. They will ship them right to your door too. You can find Paradise cherries here.
HELP! THE COOKIE MIXTURE IS TOO SOFT!
This is to be expected, Dear Reader. It will all depend on how quickly you can assemble Rudolph’s Red Nose Cookies. It’s very simple, really. If you find that it’s becoming too difficult to roll the cookie mixture into balls, there’s two things you can do.
First, wash your hands. That’s right! The sweetened condensed milk is sticky to start with. As you roll ball after ball, a residue is collecting and forming on your palms. This will prevent the mixture from rolling properly. Wash your hands; dry them very well, and start again.
If that didn’t work, then your mixture has returned to room temperature and is now too warm to work with. Simply place the bowl back in the refrigerator for ten minutes or so to help cool down the mixture. Do not place in the freezer! You gotta practice patience.
MORE CHRISTMAS CONFECTIONS!
In some cases, we want more than a cookie. That’s why I have two more Christmas-themed collections you might want to consider. The first, is my 12 Bundt Cakes of Christmas, and the second is my 12 Biscotti of Christmas. Click on the image below to see each collection all on one page with links to each recipe!
CAN I MAKE THESE IN ADVANCE?
Absolutely! You can make these two months in advance. Once you assembled them all and have refrigerated them for 30 minutes (as per the recipe card below) transfer them to food-safe containers. I would place a sheet of parchment or waxed paper between each layer.
This will prevent the coconut from sticking to that beautiful, bright, red cherry. You’ll want these Rudolph cookies to look just as perfect once you are ready to eat them. Once packaged, place a tight-fitting lid on the container and freeze.
Remove from the freezer only the amount you would like to thaw. Place them on a plate and let them sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
STORING, PACKAGING, AND FREEZING
These cookies will stay fresh for about 3-5 days in a covered container and in a cool place. But, if you plan to freeze these cookies, use a food-safe container that can be frozen. You’ll want to ensure a very tight fitting lid too. (I use these quite often when freezing baked goods.) I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that cookie freshness locked in!
You can freeze these cookies for up to three months. They will come out of the freezer looking just like they did when you put them in there. Once you thaw them, they will taste just as fresh as the day you first made them. When thawing, place the cookies onto a wire cooling rack in a single layer. Wait about 20 minutes or so and they will be perfectly thawed and ready to devour!
There you have it, my dearest and most loyal reader! A new cookie countdown to Christmas 2019! Each day, a new recipe will be posted – with the exception of Saturday and Sunday.
None of the cookies are difficult and none of them require any special ingredients. There will be a few cookies that will require a little bit of effort and time, but for the most part, they’re all easy, delicious, and affordable too!
Rudolph’s Red Nose Cookies
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 5 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut, shredded
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 30 whole red candied cherries
- In a large bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, butter, and vanilla extract.
- Next, whisk the cocoa powder into the mixture. Don't whisk to the point of making the mixture frothy, but just until the cocoa powder is well incorporated.
- Add 5 cups of the coconut and all of the powdered sugar. Stir until well combined.
- Place in refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes. In the meantime, add the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut to a bowl. Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper and set aside.
- Once the mixture has chilled, use a cookie scoop to keep the portions even. Working with one cookie at a time, portion our a heaping tablespoon of the cookie mixture. Roll into a ball.
- Roll the ball into the remaining coconut and place onto prepared baking sheet.
- Place a candied cherry onto the cookie and with a clean finger, push the cherry straight down until the cherry is half way buried into the cookie. Continue until all of the cookie mixture is used up.
- Once done, place the entire baking sheet into the fridge for 30 minutes until the balls are firm. Remove from fridge and transfer to a food-safe container with a tight fitting lid.
- Keep balls refrigerated. Remove desired amount from fridge a few minutes before serving.