We did not intend to turn these into fruit, but that is what happened. These no-bake cookies are really easy to make because the dough behaves like playdough, which allows kids use their imaginations.
If this is your first attempt at no-bake cookies, know that they will always stay chewy even if you refrigerate them. By taking a peek at the ingredients below, you can probably imagine what these taste like. I happen to like them and kids think the fruit shapes are nifty. A printable version is at the bottom of this post.
No-Bake Shapeable Cookies
1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 3oz packet of gelatin
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (you may not need all)
30 whole cloves (for the stems)
Colored sugar crystals
Gallon sized Ziploc bag
Parents will need to: Get out ingredients, bowls and utensils. Open condensed milk can and any other unopened packages (for younger kids).
1. Put approximately 1 1/2 packets of graham crackers into a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Have the kids smash or use a rolling pin to turn them into crumbs.
2. Pour sweetened condensed milk into bowl.
3. Sprinkle in the gelatin. Stir well.
4. Stir in coconut and 1 1/2 cups of graham crackers. If the dough is too sticky, add the remaining 1/2 cup of graham crackers. Or, add more if you feel like you need them. The dough should feel a little bit like playdough. (I have an awesome recipe for homemade playdough if you need one.)
5. Roll the cookies into 1 inch balls or whatever shape you’re going for. Less is more with no-bake cookies due to the sweetness and consistency. To the left is a shot of the “naked” cookie so you can see the texture. Some coconut will be visible. The cookies will be sticky enough to roll in sugar crystals, but you won’t be able to coat the entire surface (due to coconut).
6. Roll the cookie in colored sugar crystals. Or, you could use coconut, sprinkles or crushed peanuts. The crystals can be a little messy. Do one color at a time and wash hands in between, because you might have something like this:
7. Take a clove and push it into the top of whatever fruit you’re creating. Important: Remind kids that the clove is for decoration and not eating. We likened it to a stick. And who wants to eat a stick?
I made the banana, orange, pear (or La Jolla Girl said it was an avocado) and red apple above. La Jolla Girl (4 years old) made the dough herself and shaped these. She’s particularly proud that she came up with the tomato idea (on the right).
Here is a printable version of the recipe.