A Southern Grace: food of the gods

September 14, 2013

food of the gods


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.


Angie Schneider said...

They look melt-in-mouth and wonderful. I love all those add-ins..indeed cookies from heaven!

Foodycat said...

I've only had ambrosia once - I think I prefer the look of it in cookie form!

Joanne said...

Ambrosia is probably the only salad one could turn into a cookie and still have it taste good lol. Love all the mix-ins.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Okay are you going to shun me when I tell you that I've never had ambrosia salad? It's not something that we get in Australia. but now that I'm in America I can try it! :D

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

These cookies sound amazing! Awesome idea to add corn flakes, and I bet rice crispies would work too (I've been adding those to the last few batches of cookies I've made) :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Divine looking cookies! I love their name; very promising...



Gloria Baker said...

look delicious!

Erica said...

I love ambrosia salad!What a great idea to make "ambrosia cookies",Grace! Interesting and delicious!

Sue/the view from great island said...

This is my kind of cookie --- the more ad-ins the better!

Jenn said...

Ambrosia is a staple at our holiday meals. These cookies sound delicious.

Guru Uru said...

These cookies look delicious, I really want to try ambrosia now :D


Sugar Cookies to Peterbilts said...

I know these are going to be a hit with my cookie crowd! I am with you on the "Best cereal ever", so I will be trying it with that twist!

Rosita Vargas said...

Ohh Grace es una receta fantástica luce deliciosa,abrazos.

Beth said...

I really like ambrosia, and I think these cookies look terrific!

~~louise~~ said...

I had to go check that ambrosia link over at wiki because for some reason I always associate "food of the gods" with honey. Now I know:)

As for these cookies, well, Grace, leave it to you to not only make ambrosia healthier than it already could be but also even more delicious all wrapped up in a tender, yet crunchy cookie. (love the cereal idea:)

Thanks for sharing, Grace...This one is definitely a keeper! (the grand kids will love them:)

Food Gal said...

Having never really cared for ambrosia the salad, I think these ambrosia cookies are a far more inviting alternative. I'll take a dozen, please. ;)

Lucy @ Lucyeats said...

I am a huge ambrosia fan and these look delightful!

I Wilkerson said...

I've made kitchen sink cookies which we also love. It's amazing how good loading up cookies with great ingredients can be!

foodhoe said...

mmm, sounds deliciously different, I love dates and corn flakes and well, all of the above...

Barbara said...

I well remember ambrosia! Very southern. My mom made it often, so did I.
Love your cookie version, Grace.

vanillasugarblog said...

I have always wanted to do a fun take on the ambrosia.
You definitely nailed it!

Becki's Whole Life said...

I'm always surprised how much I like cookies with tons of add-ins...as long as the cookie stays together I love them chock full of goodies. Sounds wonderful!

Jeff @ Cheese-burger.net said...

When I dug into the first batch, that's the time that I finally understood why their call ambrosia. Definitely food for Gods.

Pam said...

How did I miss this one - YUM!!!