Citrus Bites

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This past weekend, we had 3 guests at our house: my sister-in-law, my niece, and my cousin. They were participating in a biking event (bicycles, not Harley’s) in the area and didn’t want to make the big drive the morning of the near 50 mile ride.

Do you know what I call relatives that come to stay for a night?

Guinea Pigs!

This was my chance to experiment with a recipe or two. On my desk, I had just the recipe for such an occasion. This was one of those recipes that I found and it just made me so curious that I had to save it. I knew it would be good but I didn’t know if it would be good enough to commit to my recipe collection.

Luckily, these gals are super curious and not fussy at all. When they arrived and saw these bite-sized treats on the counter, they didn’t wait for an explanation. My niece took a bite and quickly declared “Mmmm … Tasty!”

The original recipe came from … where else? … an Advent Devotion book, printed by my good friend’s church. Every year they ask their members and associates to write a devotion and include a recipe. A lady named Anette Knoll submitted the recipe called “Orange Balls” and the thing that really captured my attention was the use of frozen orange juice concentrate. That, and the fact that this was a no-bake recipe. When you see the list of other ingredients, I think you’ll see why I kept it for 6 months. Well, you’ll probably wonder why it took me so long to actually make them!

I started thinking about frozen juice concentrates and realized I had options: lemonade, limeade, pineapple juice, apple juice, etc. I decided on a combination of lemon and pineapple. After all, the recipe involves rolling the dough balls in coconut so why not go with a tropical profile? Once I started thinking Hawaii, macadamia nuts ended up in my cart too.

And this is the resulting recipe …


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CITRUS BITES

1 pound vanilla wafers
1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts
1 1/2 cups unsweetened flake coconut
1 stick softened butter
6 oz frozen lemonade concentrate, defrosted
6 oz frozen pineapple concentrate, defrosted
1 pound powdered sugar

NOTE: One box of vanilla wafers is not one pound. Most boxes are 11-12 oz.

Finely crush vanilla wafers in a food processor (or by hand). Finely chop macadamia nuts in a food processor (or by hand). Toast coconut and macadamia nuts in a dry pan on low heat, stirring frequently until slightly browned and fragrant; place in a shallow bowl.

Combine vanilla wafer crumbs, butter, defrosted juice concentrates (start with 3/4 of each concentrate and add more as needed to get a “rollable” consistency), and powdered sugar with an electric mixer.

Use a small (1 inch) cookie scoop to make balls or shape by hand. Roll in coconut/macadamia nut mixture and place on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate to set.

Makes about 6 dozen Bites.


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VARIATIONS

Now that I’ve made and enjoyed these “tasty” bites, I am curious about other combinations and ingredients:

  • adding citrus zest for an extra punch of flavor
  • almonds, pecans, pistachios, or walnuts
  • fresh herbs (like thyme or mint)
  • spices (chili powder, cinnamon, nutmeg)
  • margarita mix

These are a perfect sweet bite for picnics, reunions, parties and bridal/baby showers. They can be made ahead and refrigerated.


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Anita Hinkeldey McVey

From the farm in Alta ... to college in Ames ... to the suburbs of Des Moines in Waukee ... I am an Iowa girl through and through. I married the cute, but quiet, guy who made me laugh out loud in Statistics class and we have two awesome, but terribly sarcastic, boys. In 1999, I quit my research job to be home with those active boys. Staying home allowed me to spend more time preparing meals, trying new recipes and striving to serve healthier options for my family. Now that my boys are men ... well, "adults" anyway ... and my husband still appreciates what I accomplish at home, I have time to explore my creative side and knock "writing a blog" off my bucket list. I love trying new things, traveling, gardening, reading and clean countertops. I love baseball (watching, not playing) and concession stands. Choosing a favorite food is impossible but if I was forced to pick just one, it would be pie! I thank God that He has led me to this place. Here's to a new adventure and hopes that others will be able to use what I post to discover the benefits of family meals and living a picnic life.

3 thoughts on “Citrus Bites

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