Sheri Castle is an award-winning food writer, cooking teacher and public speaker.
“I grew up eating these cookies. They came into vogue during the 1960s and ’70s when no-bake and other shortcut recipes popped up on the back of packages. It’s fun to dig through the family recipe box and pull out recipes we remember fondly, although these retro recipes often need tweaking. In its original form, this recipe called for a box of this, a can of that and so forth. Because of shrinking box and can sizes over time, those amounts are no longer reliable, and now we must measure the ingredients. These are quick and easy, and a great recipe to make with little kitchen helpers. For those who are not fond of coconut, roll the balls instead in more powdered sugar.”
3 cups (11 oz.) finely crushed Nilla Wafers
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 lb. powdered sugar, sifted
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled
¾ cup orange juice concentrate, thawed and undiluted
1 ½ cups sweetened, flaked coconut
Stir together the cookie crumbs, pecans and powdered sugar in
a large bowl. Drizzle the butter over the top and toss with a fork. Add the orange juice concentrate and stir with a fork (or your hands) until the mixture comes together and has the consistency of Play-Doh. The dough should be soft, but not sticky.
Form the mixture into 1½-inch balls. (A small spring-release scoop quickly makes cookies of uniform size.)
Pour the coconut into a shallow bowl. Coat each cookie in coconut, pressing lightly to help the coconut adhere. Arrange the cookies in a single layer in an airtight storage container and refrigerate until firm, preferably overnight. Store covered and refrigerated. Makes about 3 dozen.
Photography by Briana Brough