You're familiar with ambrosia, right? The version I know and love consists of mini marshmallows, orange segments, pineapple, coconut, and nuts all smothered in a sweetened sour cream or yogurt sauce. Food of the gods, indeed.
These cookies are delightfully inspired by that salad. They contain goodies like shredded coconut, orange zest, pecans, and lots and lots of dried fruit. The original recipe called for dried pineapple as would befit a batch of ambrosia cookies, but I didn't have any. Instead, I added chopped dates, a most underused fruit. One sneaky and unexpected component is crushed corn flakes, and they contribute a fantastic crunch to these otherwise super chewy cookies. This is another instance where the add-ins outweigh the actual cookie dough, and that's okay with me.
While I did use corn flakes in these, I have to wonder how awesome Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds (or, as I like to call it, the best cereal ever made) would make them. Double yum.
Cookies From the Heavens
Adapted from The All-American Cookie Book
Makes about 3 dozen
- 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups brown sugar, tightly packed
- 1 egg
- 2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1-1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 1-1/3 cups corn flakes, crushed
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1/3 cup diced dried apricots
- 1-1/4 cups diced pitted dates
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease several baking sheets with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, with a mixer, beat together the butter, oil, and brown sugar until blended. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and zest. Beat in the flour mixture until evenly incorporated. Stir in the dried fruit, coconut, corn flakes, pecans, and oats.
Let the dough stand for 10 minutes or until firmed up; refrigerate if necessary.
Shape the dough into 1-1/2 inch balls and places them about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Press them down just a tad.
Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, or until tinged with brown all over and just beginning to firm up in the centers. Let the cookies stand on the sheets for a couple of minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely.