Colors, the choice of them, have pirated my attention this summer. I’ve spent… more hours than I care to admit, clicking through reception décor, wedding invitations, cakes, and floral arrangements in pursuit of wedding color schemes. At my lowest point I spent an entire sunny, low-humidity Saturday—a rarity in Pittsburgh—at my desk, scanning slideshows of escort cards. I’m pretty sure online browsing only hinders my making a decision. After a few photos, they all become a blur and I’m no better off than when I started. Perhaps a multitude of options isn't always a good thing. Add to that the construction of our new home and you’ve got a bride who’s tempted to devote entire weekends to looking for the perfect cabinet stain. But I’m having a blast. At what other time in her life does a girl get to focus on making things pretty? Not many, I’m afraid.
My obsession with color has found its way into the cookie table project. Early this week I realized that the cookies I’ve baked so far are the same color, a browned butter hue—cozy and appetizing but, sadly, a bit monotonous. So this week I experimented with a recipe that would add some splash to the typical cookie table, strawberry bon bons.
Strawberry bon bons are not sophisticated cookies, I won’t pretend otherwise. They will win you no culinary accolades nor much esteem in foodie circles. No, these candy-like cookies belong in the category of sweets reserved for a child’s birthday party or a girl’s baby-doll tea. But these deterrents do not make me love them any less.
I became acquainted with strawberry bon bons at a cousin’s wedding back in 1994. They tasted tropical, of juicy strawberries, island coconut, and warm almond. Like a Strawberry Almond joy (which makes me think that these cookies would be sinful dipped in bitter dark chocolate). It was a breakthrough for me, a child whose favorite treats were coconut muffins. I never did learn the recipe but remembered their taste and, most important, their appearance; bright red with a slight sparkle, like Dorothy’s ruby slippers. They dominated the cookie table.
I do hope you’ll give strawberry bon bons a try at your next party or as a snack. They are easy to make and both kids and adults love them. They solve the color conundrum, adding a pop of brightness to any cookie display. Happy Friday, everyone!
Strawberry Bon Bons
v 1 8 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
v 1 10 oz. bag flaked coconut
v 1 6 oz. box strawberry gelatin
v 1 cup blanched almonds, ground
v 2 teaspoons almond extract
v red food coloring
v 1 tube prepared green frosting
1 In a large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, coconut, 1/3 cup strawberry gelatin, ground almonds, almond extract and enough red food coloring to tint the mixture a strawberry shade. Stir with a wooden spoon until well-combined.
2 Chill in the refrigerator until firm enough to handle, about one hour.
3 Pour the remaining strawberry gelatin into a wide shallow dish, a pie pan or square glass dish should be just fine. With your hands, form small amounts of the mixture (about ½ tablespoon) into a strawberry shape. Roll the strawberry in the remaining gelatin to coat. Pipe a stem with the green icing and place the finished strawberry on a cookie sheet. Keep refrigerated until serving.