Secret Recipe Club: No-Bake Coconut Cranberry Bars (with Galletas Maria)

An easy no-bake dessert made with Galletas María, dried cranberries, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk, with a subtle hint of orange.

No-Bake Coconut Cranberry Cookie Bars -

Hi friends! It's the first Monday of the month, which means it's time once again for The Secret Recipe Club. My assignment this month was Chit Chat Chompwritten by Melbourne based blogger Leigh, who loves to cook, loves pots of tea, twinkling Christmas lights, and all things French. That latter part explains the chic, French vibe I got while reading through Leigh's blog. One thing that I really caught my attention was her 2013 Cookbook Challenge that she started to motivate herself to cook more recipes from the books in her collection. I for one need to really consider starting my own cookbook challenge, because my cookbooks have been long neglected and could use some love and attention.

Leigh, who describes herself as an amateur photographer, has the most gorgeous, eye-catching recipes on her blog. Some that I've added to my "to make" list are Split Pea & Ham Soup (Sigh... If only I could find split peas...), White Bean & Chorizo Soup (because hello... chorizo!), Lemon, Thyme & Ricotta Chicken Nutty Broccoli Pasta, and Chorizo Carbonara (More chorizo!)

I ended up choosing Coconut & Orange Biscuit Slice because the name just sounded so elegant, and because I was craving something sweet to go with my coffee as I perused through Leigh's blog. As I read through the recipe I noticed that it was a no-bake dessert which made me extra happy to not have to bake in this horrible humid heat we've been experiencing.

I only made a couple of minor changes to to the original recipe like substituting Maria's Cookies (a popular lightly flavored cookie here in Mexico) for the plain biscuits, choosing dried cranberries as the dried fruit, and going with a cream cheese frosting for the bars like Leigh suggests. These No-Bake Coconut Cranberry Bars were a HUGE hit with my family. Sweet, irresistible, and so easy to make. Great for an afterschool snack, and perfect for a last-minute bake sale treat.

No-Bake Coconut Orange Cookie Bars 
(recipe adapted from Chit Chat Chomp)

  • 3 pkgs. (4.9 oz.) Maria's Cookies
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) melted butter
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-1/2 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest

For the frosting: 
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest 
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice 

Spray an 8x11-in baking dish or pan with cooking spray. Pulse the cookies in a food processor into fine crumbs. In large bowl mix together the cookie crumbs, melted butter, sweetened condensed milk, dried cranberries, shredded coconut, and grated orange zest. Press crumb mixture into prepared pan; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

To prepare frosting: Whisk together the powdered sugar and cream cheese. Stir in orange juice, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency. Spread over bars. Cut bars in squares and serve with an ice cold glass of milk. Enjoy!

Receta en español 

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