Chocolate, Coconut and Walnut Balls

by Maureen on December 16, 2013

Foodie Secret Santa GiftsA while back my dear young friend Claire from Claire K Creations emailed asking if I’d participate in her first ever Foodie Secret Santa.  I love getting packages and I love to cook and bake so I was in.

I had no idea what to make and as usual, I went off half cocked and didn’t read everything correctly.  AND, I didn’t go back and re-read before I started cooking.  I had read it, I knew what I was doing.  Uhh, no, I didn’t.

I remembered reading that I needed 3 items for 3 other secret santas.  That’s not what the deal was at all.  I did get the number 3 right for the secret santas but I only needed to make one item.  Do you ever make more work for yourself than necessary?

Christmas Sugar Cookies

First I made decorated sugar cookies because I love them at Christmas time.  These were quite small and the recipe is my favourite.  Yes, I was covered in icing and food coloring gel but that’s part of the fun.

Rob, my number one recipe tester ate the first cookie and gave his approval.

Russian Caramels

I couldn’t have Christmas without some Russian caramels (it’s fudge, really).  It’s easy to make – only 3 ingredients and I’m addicted to it.

The winner on the day were the chocolate, coconut and walnut balls.  Think Almond Joy but with walnuts.  These took a bit of time but they were really easy to make.  If you haven’t made all your Christmas goodies yet, give these a try.  My only problem was I made the balls with a scoop and I could have made them half the size they were and probably should have remade them.

Chocolate, Coconut and Walnut Balls

Why didn’t I?  I would have ended up eating all of these because I couldn’t bear to toss them out.  So my 3 secret santas got jumbo balls.

4.9 from 10 reviews

Chocolate, Coconut and Walnut Balls
 
These are really easy and the only cooking is melting the chocolate.
Author:
Recipe type: Candy
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk (not one can)
  • 1½ teaspoons almond extract
  • 8 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
  • One 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate morsels, melted
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • After the balls have set up, melt the chocolate and shortening until smooth. Dip into the chocolate to coat evenly and lightly. Place onto a parchment or foil lined sheet pan to dry.
  • Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/chocolate-coconut-balls-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback
Instructions
  1. In a bowl mix together the nuts, condensed milk, almond extract and coconut.
  2. Using your fingers, form the mixture into balls about ¾-inch round. (make them smaller rather than large like I did – about one bite’s worth)
  3. Place onto baking sheet and let rest at room temperature for 4 hours or in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  4. After the balls have set, melt the chocolate and shortening in a bowl over slowly simmering water. Stir until smooth.
  5. Dip into the chocolate to coat evenly and lightly and pull out with a meat fork. Place onto a baking paper or a foil lined baking sheet to dry.
Notes
If like me you do these on a hot day and the chocolate refuses to set at room temperature, roll in dessicated coconut. Nobody will think it’s not the real thing.

And what did I get?  I have no idea who sent this but it was a delightful package of Gingerbread Biscotti and a jar of gingerbread syrup.  Yes, you read that right, gingerbread syrup.  I was over the moon.

gingerbread biscotti
I received my last two gifts today and can I say, “Welcome to Queensland?”  It’s 28C/82F and it’s hot and humid but I suspect the packages went through an even hotter place because the chocolate melted together.  No worries though, because a knife can cut chocolate mints out of that mass of chocolate and they are delicious!

foodie secret santa

Finally, from Lisa the Gourmet Wog, I got these candied orange peels dipped in chocolate.  I know it’s a secret santa but she posted that she sent these and that they’d gone to Queensland.  I’m pretty sure I’m right on this.   I tasted that one that fell off the crowd and yum!

foodie secret santa giftsDon’t forget to check out the other Foodie Secret Santa gifts over at Claire’s place.
Foodie Secret Santa

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{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

lizzie - strayed from the table December 16, 2013 at 10:26 am

Maureen! Those choco – coconut balls are all gone, I was waiting for Roy to come home to share my Christmas goodies. However yesterday they became so addictive I could not help myself they are so good. Yes, I am going to give them a go before the family come as I think that they will love them. Instead of almond extract I am going to use some booze of some sort. Thanks for the recipe, I look forward to giving them a go and having heaps more to eat. Thanks too for the pressies, Roy is going to love those caramels and biscuits – he gets back tomorrow.
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year

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Joanne T Ferguson December 16, 2013 at 10:36 am

G’day Maureen! Sounds like fun and perhaps your other two are on its way, true!
Yes, sometimes seems like is more work than I actually do! lol Or maybe its the other way around…lol is the silly season!
Cheers! Joanne

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yummychunklet December 16, 2013 at 11:16 am

Tasty looking treats! Can’t wait to try those coconut and walnut balls.

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 5:31 pm

You and the whole family will love them. :)

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Lisa the Gourmet Wog December 16, 2013 at 11:25 am

Oh those chocolate walnut balls look amazing Maureen! I’d be pretty stoked with those gingerbread biscotti and syrup too, what a treat!! Hope the postman brings you some amazing goodies today!! xx
Lisa the Gourmet Wog recently posted..Dark Chocolate Coated Spiced Candied Orange Peel

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John@Kitchen Riffs December 16, 2013 at 11:29 am

Great balls of coconut! (I’m channeling my inner Jerry Lee Lewis ;) Those really do look like a terrific recipe. I gotta tell Mrs K R. ;-) I’ve never heard of gingerbread syrup – sounds like a winner!
John@Kitchen Riffs recently posted..Lemon-Almond Glazed Cookies

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I hadn’t either and I’m going to eat it ALL on Christmas morning. :)

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SallyBR December 16, 2013 at 11:56 am

I made today a Brazilian recipe that uses condensed milk and a “surprise” flavoring, but it’s all cooked down to a fudge-y like consistency before being rolled as little balls….

I am curious about the Russian caramels…. they look very very tasty!

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 5:30 pm

A surprise flavoring? You are such a tease, Sally!!

I posted the Russian caramels last year and forgot to link it. http://www.orgasmicchef.com/candy/russian-caramels/

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SallyBR December 19, 2013 at 12:42 am

Thank you! But, I will ease your mind, the surprise flavoring is…. is…. is…..

pumpkin!!!!

(post coming up on Dec 20th)

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Maureen December 19, 2013 at 8:24 am

I guessed :)

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foodwanderings December 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Chocolate, coconut and walnuts, Maureen?! Insanely delicious. I would like to reach into the screen and grab one, ok, maybe two or more. :) Since I have you here I would like to wish you Happy Holidays. Shulie

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Aww thanks Shulie and same to you and your family.

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Lizzy (Good Things) December 16, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Wow, Maureen, too yummy! My favourite? Perhaps those beautifully decorated sugar cookies! I’m guessing mine will be under the tree, yes? LOL. Hope you are feeling better, my friend. You’ve been in my thoughts the last few days xox

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Today was a really crap day around here. John’s in Victoria telling his mother she has dementia and cannot go back home. Rob is beside himself with worry so I took him out running errands. The battery died and we got this really nifty taxi ride home. :) She’ll be all safely tucked in at the facility up here tomorrow. IF she gets on the plane at all.

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A_Boleyn December 17, 2013 at 4:13 am

I’m so sorry to hear about your mom’s diagnosis. When my dad died in 2010, my mom moved in with me and 6 months later she was diagnosed with dementia as well. I wish you the best in keeping her faculties as alert as possible for as long possible.
A_Boleyn recently posted..G is for Garbanzo

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Lizzy (Good Things) December 17, 2013 at 7:30 am

Lordy, well I am crossing my fingers for you… it would be so nice for you to have a peaceful Christmas.

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Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate December 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm

My grandma makes coconut balls very similar to this except they have crushed graham crackers in them (along with condensed milk, chocolate chips, nuts and of course, coconut). Yum!
Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate recently posted..Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Those coconut balls sound pretty good, Mallory, do you have a recipe? Same one add graham crackers? Can you believe they don’t sell them here? I have to buy them from the expensive import store.

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A_Boleyn December 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm

What a lovely idea for this time of year. Australia and chocolate are a bit dicey when they have to go through the mail, I see, but even a bit melted they don’t look bad and I bet they tasted wonderful. Chocolate and mint are one of my (many) favourites. :)
A_Boleyn recently posted..G is for Garbanzo

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Everything was fantastic! Yes, it looked funny but it tasted SO good.

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Trisha December 16, 2013 at 1:14 pm

What a fun idea! And I LOVE the coconut/nut/chocolate combo. These would disappear quickly in my house…

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm

They disappeared pretty quickly at our place too. My husband loved them. Thanks heaps for coming by and hope you have wonderful holidays.

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Kyrstie@ A Fresh Legacy December 16, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Those balls look gorgeous and I love the look of those Russian caramels. I hope that you post that recipe soon too :-)

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Sorry, Kyrstie, I already did! I just fixed the post to link to it. http://www.orgasmicchef.com/candy/russian-caramels/

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@ChristineSalins (FoodWineTravel) December 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm

What a fun exercise to take part in Maureen. The Chocolate Coconut & Walnut Balls sounds deliciously easy but I REALLY love Russian caramel.

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Oh Christine, me too. I can’t leave it alone so I can only make it when I have to give it away. :) Have a very happy Christmas!

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erin @ she cooks, she gardens December 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm

OMG, Maureen. I am really sorry about my totally daft present. I can’t tell you how much I’ve been dreading the arrival of those darn packages – I woke up last night at 2am worrying about how they’d fare. Next year I’m going with a spice rub!!

ps – thanks for your gorgeous package, I am so impressed with your cookie decorating skills!
erin @ she cooks, she gardens recently posted..Edible flowers for your veggie garden

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Oh Erin, you cutie you. If you could see 93 year old Rob and I fighting over the “chocolate turd” you’d wet yourself. It cuts beautifully and it looks like marbled candy. I think you’re on to something here! :)

How did mine arrive? I’ve been sweating those coconut balls. :)

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erin @ she cooks, she gardens December 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Chocolate turd! That is the best, I am relieved to hear that my epic fail brought you guys joy. :)

And yep, your big balls were awesome (oh my!).
erin @ she cooks, she gardens recently posted..Peppermint Patties – Foodie Secret Santa

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Maureen December 17, 2013 at 10:24 pm

OMG you are so funny. I just read your blog post and cracked up. We SERIOUSLY needed a bit of levity on Monday.

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Kari @ bite-sized thoughts December 16, 2013 at 6:49 pm

What a great swapping idea! And I’m sure your recipients won’t have minded giant chocolate, coconut and walnut balls at all (I nearly wrote giant balls, but thought that sounded way too wrong so went for the full title…but now I’ve said it anyway…oh well ;) ).
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts recently posted..Zucchini noodles with a tahini lemon sauce

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 7:36 pm

I’ve used big balls all day long. LOL I had a great time with this swap.

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Claire @ Claire K Creations December 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Maureen really that was not breaking the rules at all you just went above and beyond. All your goodies look wonderful!
I got the gingerbread package too. They disappeared really really fast. I think the syrup would be wonderful blended in a batch of your ice-cream.
Claire @ Claire K Creations recently posted..Chocolate crinkle cookies – Foodie Secret Santa

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I was going to use it on Christmas morning but holy cow drizzled through ice cream sounds almost sinful. :)

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Raymund December 16, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Very nice and festive, perfect for this season and also as a giveaway

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I had a lot of fun with this!

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Angela Montgomery December 16, 2013 at 7:16 pm

What a lovely idea for Christmas, beautiful goodies, and all so beautifully packaged.
BTW, your blog is gorgeous too!

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Hi Angela, thanks so much for visiting and especially for leaving a comment. I hope you have a lovely Christmas.

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Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com December 16, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Oh wow – Your secret santas are sure lucky! These balls sound amazing!
Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com recently posted..Banana Walnut Granola Muffins!

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Maureen December 16, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Thanks so much – that’s really kind of you.

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Katy Potaty December 16, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Oh, Maureen – I *knew* the sugar cookies were from you, nobody else would’ve had the patience for such gorgeous detailing!

My husband said he was bummed not to get to introduce himself properly to my Secret Santa… do you live very local?

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Maureen December 17, 2013 at 8:30 am

Katy! It was supposed to be secret! I LOVE your new home – what I could see from the street and the garage. :)

I live in Minyama off Nicklin Way. My 93 year old father-in-law is with us and I got Lizzie’s name too so we went for a road trip. I’d only ever been through Bli Bli – it’s a nifty place.

We should get together for lunch one day soon. If you’d like to. :)

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Gintare @Gourmantine December 17, 2013 at 1:12 am

Such a sweet and lovely idea to swap gifts, how I’d love to find those coconut walnuts balls in my post.. (sigh…) :)

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Ash-foodfashionparty December 17, 2013 at 3:35 am

Wow, that is such a lovely treat.
The coconut and in it sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try em’.

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Maureen December 17, 2013 at 8:33 am

You will bow down before me in gratitude. (maybe) LOL

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Roberta December 17, 2013 at 4:49 am

I new from the title of this post I loved these wonderful chocolate bon-bons. However, it is the Russian caramels that has me about to swoon.

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Mary Frances December 17, 2013 at 4:50 am

Maureen – your sugar cookies are beautiful!! I no longer have the patience for icing so I just use different colored sugars. I’ll be doing that this weekend. You look like you’re all ready for the holidays!!
Mary Frances recently posted..Sauteed Zucchini with Onions and Radishes, topped with Feta and Oil-cured Moroccan Olives

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Maureen December 17, 2013 at 8:32 am

Actually, I have a confession. I found a really easy recipe and those cookies were painted with a paintbrush all but the gingerbread looking men and next time I would do that too.

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Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits December 17, 2013 at 5:02 am

They all look so yummy. The Christmas cookies are especially cute!

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Maureen December 17, 2013 at 8:31 am

Aww, thanks Mireya!

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Hannah December 17, 2013 at 5:26 am

Woot! I thought this was going to be like the date-nut-vegan treats I always make. Love that it uses sweetened condense milk (which I have at home right now…)

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Maureen December 17, 2013 at 8:31 am

Oh Hannah – from me? You are the one who does those magnificent healthy things. I’m going to hell in a dietary handbasket. :)

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Hotly Spiced December 17, 2013 at 5:35 am

I wish you’d been my Santa! Your cookies are gorgeous – aren’t you talented with a cookie cutter and a gel pen! And I love the sound of your Russian fudge – only three ingredients? And those balls look like an excellent hostess gift. I was given something with chocolate too and it was a melted mess when I received it. I put the bag straight into the fridge and all is now good if a little untidy looking! xx

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InTolerant Chef December 17, 2013 at 7:16 am

What a fun idea Maureen, the gingerbread syrup sounds gorgeous

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Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella December 17, 2013 at 7:21 am

Such a great idea and I wish I could have participated but I am overseas. Will be back for Christmas though! Love the sound of jumbo balls :)
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella recently posted..Wagyu House, Croydon

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nancy@jamjnr.com December 17, 2013 at 7:43 am

It’s been great to see the Secret Santas pop up on Facebook and instagram and wonder who sent what. Love your balls Maureen – perfect with a cuppa in the afternoon.

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suzanne Perazzini December 17, 2013 at 9:37 am

I have just been going around my favourite Aussie food blogs and have been seeing this trail of secret Santa presents all over the place. It has been interesting putting all the puzzle pieces together. I haven’t discovered who is making gingerbread syrup yet though.
suzanne Perazzini recently posted..Thumbprint Cookies – gluten-free and low FODMAP

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Maureen December 17, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Me either! I have no idea who it’s from. Hopefully I’ll know by tomorrow and get the recipes. Hope you have a lovely holiday, Suzanne.

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Rachel December 17, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Are those orange peels can be eaten together with the chocolate? or you just lick the chocolates out of it? I didn’t know this exists.. sorry for my ignorance. -_-
but it does look good.

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Maureen December 17, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Hi Rachel,

Yes, the orange peels are taken off the oranges and cooked in a sugar syrup and they magically turn into orange flavoured candy. Once they’re dry(ish) they’re dipped in chocolate. You eat them like a lolly. :)

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jehanne@thecookingdoctor December 17, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I think I should move to Aussie land, as we don’thave any secret Santa here :-(.. would love to bake and received baked goodies! Those iced cookies look pretty, Maureen..and now I am inspired to do the gingerbread biscotti..yum!
jehanne@thecookingdoctor recently posted..The Perfect Fruit Cake (alcohol-free)

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Maureen December 17, 2013 at 10:22 pm

I want to make that too instead of just eat it. :) Lovely to see you, Jehanne!

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ChgoJohn December 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I think Foodie Secret Santa is a great idea, Maureen. I’m sure the recipients are going to love your gifts, especially th chocolate balls. You had me with the “Think Almond Joy…” That’s all I needed to read. :)
ChgoJohn recently posted..Egg-Filled Ravioli

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Maureen December 17, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Honestly, they’re delicious.

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David Crichton December 17, 2013 at 6:59 pm

I hope my stocking is filled with some delights like these.
David Crichton recently posted..Venison and Chestnut Pie

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Maureen December 17, 2013 at 10:18 pm

I hope so too, David!

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Liz December 17, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Wow, you went ALL out…I’m certain your lucky recipients didn’t mind the extra treats! I MUST try your coconut balls :)

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Maureen December 17, 2013 at 10:18 pm

You’ll be proud of your balls. :)

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Norma Chang December 17, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Love your cookie jar in the first photo. Your Chocolate, Coconut and Walnut Balls would not last long in my house.
Norma Chang recently posted..Harvest Monday, December 16, 2013 + Oven Dried Fuyu Persimmons

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Shu December 18, 2013 at 2:05 am

Chocolate, coconut and walnut.. somehow you’ve managed to roll all my weakness into one ball. Damn it! ;) Sounds delicious Maureen, good one! Happy Christmas!

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ela@GrayApron December 18, 2013 at 5:03 am

All the right things in one little ball! I say this is orgasmic! Your gifts look delicious too:) ela

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Maureen December 19, 2013 at 8:25 am

Aww, thanks so much!

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Abbe@This is How I Cook December 18, 2013 at 6:25 am

You are so ready for Christmas! Love these gifts and those balls. I could put all of these away-fast! Gingerbread syrup-I think you best get that recipe, pronto! Thanks, maureen!
Abbe@This is How I Cook recently posted..Saigon Crunch #Chex Mix or I Did What?

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Maureen December 18, 2013 at 9:48 pm

I know.. I’ll go look and see if I can find it.

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Karen (Back Road Journal) December 18, 2013 at 6:53 am

You did a terrific job with all three gifts and I know everyone had to throughly enjoy them. I love the combination of coconut and chocolate so I know I would love your delicious balls…they sound better than Almond Joys. So sorry to hear about John’s mother…that has to be so hard for all of you.
Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted..It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

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Maureen December 18, 2013 at 9:48 pm

We’re certainly not the first family to go through this but it’s a lot more difficult than I expected. Walking away from someone you love who’s in distress is not easy. I think I need a cookie. :)

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Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures December 18, 2013 at 7:37 am

What a fun idea! This candly looks amazing! The russian caramel looks wonderful too!

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Maureen December 18, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I can’t decide which is my favorite.

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Bam's Kitchen December 18, 2013 at 10:09 am

Cookie exchanges are always such fun! I love your little chocolate coconut balls. I am sure these would be a nice addition to my cookie tray. I love all the detail work on your iced sugar cookies, they almost too pretty to eat. Take care, BAM

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Maureen December 18, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Oh we ate them all right!

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Jamie December 18, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Oh boy, do those chocolate coconut walnut balls look fabulous! Pretty, festive and wow scrumptious yes indeed! These are the kind of thing I am afraid of making because I can envision just how many of them I would eat myself. But perfect for a holiday gift! Bookmarked! I love the Christmas cookies, too, and reminds me that I should make some! Fun fun the whole Secret Santa thing (and too funny about the chocolate melting in the post).

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Maureen December 18, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Exactly why I don’t make these goodies unless I’m giving them away. :)

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JJ - 84thand3rd December 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm

I was wondering who had made all those treats – too funny but what lucky recipients you had! So glad you enjoyed the Gingerbread goodies – merry Christmas!
JJ – 84thand3rd recently posted..Christmas Pudding Mince Pie Ice Cream Bombe

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Catherine December 19, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Dear Maureen, What a nice idea. Your sugar cookies look like perfection!! I always feel bad eating these beautiful cookies. I know they are like little works of art.
The fudge must be great and almond joys, well I love them!!

p.s. I usually do things like that, I read and think I know what I am doing until I read it again and say, “huh?”
Well, you certainly made delicious treats for Christmas.
Blessings dear. Catherine xo

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Laura (Tutti Dolci) December 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm

These look addictive in the best possible way!

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Ramona December 19, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Now these are some fabulous balls… :) Okay, I had to get that one in. I love all ingredients you have in these.. I know they were yummy. :)

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Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice December 22, 2013 at 2:29 am

Your cookies look great, and the chocolate, coconut, and walnut balls sound like such a treat. The gingerbread syrup sounds divine!

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