Right for Romance: No-Bake Cookies

Whether you use the booze or not, these no-bake cookies will send you over the moon. "People and Food" from our December 2011 issue.

November 22, 2011
No-Bake Cookies
No-Bake Cookies Lynda Morris Childress

My husband, Dave, and I were aboard our Tayana 37, ¿Que Tal?, in the La Mona anchorage located at Bahía de Los Angeles, a town on the Baja shoreline of the northern Golfo de California. Night would bring a full moon, and preparations were under way for an end-of-summer party to celebrate. During a full moon, the tidal range here is about nine feet, and at peak tide, a tiny cove behind a sand spit fills with water. When the tide turns, the pent-up water rushes out through a four-foot cut in the sandbar.

By midafternoon, about 20 cruisers, eager with anticipation and clutching throwable cushions and floats, were lined up to bodysurf the whitewater pouring through the cut. Some friends even persuaded their dog to take a ride while perched on a boogieboard! Our dog refused even to think about it; she spent her afternoon digging for crabs on the beach.

As the rush of water diminished, we turned our attention to playing water volleyball or to simply lounging in the warm water, our cold drinks in hand. A barbecue on the beach followed.


Returning to ¿Que Tal? later that night, Dave and I sat on the foredeck watching a very romantic full moon rise above the dramatic hills surrounding the anchorage. It was the perfect moment to enjoy a special nightcap treat that I’d prepared that morning: no-bake Booze Balls. The air temperature earlier in the day had climbed above 100 F, so I hadn’t wanted to heat up the oven to cook. These no-bake cookies were the ideal solution.
Now we reclined on some throw pillows and nibbled on these delicious morsels and talked about where we wanted to sail next.

There simply were no two ways about it. This day had definitely exceeded the dream.

No-Bake Booze Balls

  • 3 cups vanilla wafers (or, say, shortbread cookies), crushed
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped finely
  • 2 1/3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup rum, bourbon, Triple Sec, or Grand Marnier
  • Additional powdered sugar, for dusting

Crush vanilla wafers finely using a food processor, a blender, or by placing them in a resealable bag and rolling with a rolling pin or wine bottle. Place crushed wafers in a medium bowl and add the powdered sugar, nuts, and cocoa powder. Mix well. In a small cup, mix the corn syrup and the alcohol. (This helps to thin the corn syrup so it’s easier to mix with the wafer mixture.) To make these without alcohol, substitute orange juice. Add the liquid mix to the dry mix and mix thoroughly. It will be very stiff.


Form the mix into 1-inch balls, then roll in powdered sugar. Place on a plate or piece of waxed paper to dry for 1 hour. Store in a tightly lidded container or resealable bag. Makes two dozen.

If you don’t have time to shape the individual balls, make the mixture in an 8- by 8-inch pan. Sprinkle the pan with powdered sugar, press the mixture into an even layer in the pan, then sprinkle the top with powdered sugar and/or more nuts. Cut into 3/4-inch squares.

Can Be Prepared: At Anchor, Under Way
Prep Time: 45 Minutes
Degree of Difficulty: Easy


For more recipes to cook on a boat, click here.


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