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Ambrosia Cookies

Ambrosia Cookies

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Ambrosia — food of the gods, and food of the Southern United States. My grandmother used to serve it at every meal...

Ambrosia — food of the gods, and food of the Southern United States. In honor of Ambrosia Day and my grandma, here’s a cookie modeled after her famous salad.


  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 Cup minus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 Teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 Cups chopped dried pineapple
  • 1 Cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 Cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped


Calories Per Serving282

Folate equivalent (total)48µg12%

    • 1/2 Cup butter softened
    • 1/2 Cup shortening
    • 1 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1 Cup Sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 TBL grated orange rind
    • 2 Cups flour
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    • 3 TBL orange juice
    • 1 1/2 Cups regular oats (uncooked)
    • 3 Cups flaked coconut
    1. Cream butter and shortening. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs and orange rind and beat well. Combine next 4 ingredients then add to creamed mixture alternately with orange juice beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in oats and coconut. Chill dough at least 1 hour. Drop dough by heaping teaspoon fulls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

    Healthy fruit ingredients in this ambrosia recipe

    Recipe developer Kate Shungu of The Gift of Hospitality, who specializes in giving old-fashioned recipes a fresh twist for today's cook, includes maraschino cherries, crushed pineapple, mandarin oranges, and coconut in her yummy ambrosia recipe. But the beauty of this particular recipe is it can be modified to meet anyone's taste preferences. Don't like mandarin oranges? Swap them out for another yummy fruit.

    "The salad is really customizable. Bananas would be a great addition. If you don't like maraschino cherries, leave them out. If you'd like to add walnuts instead of pecans, that's a great option. Or leave out the nuts altogether if you prefer," she said.

    Turn Southern ambrosia into cookies fit for the gods

    There are few classic Southern dishes more contentious than ambrosia. Mention it around my mother and she'll cringe her idea of the salad is marshmallow, gelatin and mayonnaise-laden, a strange and sweet concoction that is as far from her idea of a "food of the gods" as possible.

    Of course, plenty other Southerners take pride in their version of the dish, whether it be made with sweetness dialed up to 11, or toned down and citrus-heavy. But whatever ambrosia is in your mind, its hard to argue with the salad when its ingredients are transformed into cookies.

    Southern Kitchen reader Rafa Santos introduced me to the idea of ambrosia cookies earlier this spring. He said his grandmother used to make the cookies, but he had been unable to locate a recipe. From his memory, they were chock full of mix-ins: shredded coconut, chopped dates and raisins, chopped cherries and rolled oats. I had never heard of this particular combination, but, as it so often turns out, I was simply undereducated.

    A quick Google search revealed dozens upon dozens of ambrosia cookie recipes, as varied as the recipes for the original salad. Some were more coconut heavy, like a macaroon, while others, with an oatmeal cookie base, sounded more like what Santos remembered. A few bloggers referenced the fact that similar desserts are also known as "fruitcake" cookies, which isn't particularly surprising, given the long list of dried fruit called for in most recipes. I'd side with Drick Perry, author of the Drick's Rambling Cafe blog, who insists on never calling them "fruitcake," as that name references a dish fraught with even more unease than ambrosia.

    Perry said that the test of a good recipe is the inclusion of a few key ingredients — "brown sugar, coconut, pecans, dried fruit and flavors of citrus" — that mostly lined up with Santos's memory. Together, these two ingredient lists informed how I shopped for my batch of cookies.

    I started with a basic brown sugar oatmeal raisin cookie and then added in a litany of ingredients. I really liked the idea of including cherries, but wanted to stay away from the sticky-sweet maraschino types. I also was able to find unsweetened coconut at my local Kroger, which I found a better match to all of the other sugar coming in with the dried fruit. Dried pineapple was a natural fit, and I also added in a small amount of chopped dates to suit Santos's preference. A generous amount of both lemon and orange zest keep the cookies strongly in ambrosia territory.

    Ultimately, however, these cookie mix-ins are up to you. Aim to add about 3 cups of fruit and nuts, in addition to the coconut, to maintain the character of the original. And if you must add marshmallows, I'll agree to look the other way.


    Peel the oranges, removing as much of the pith (the white lining under the skin), discarding the pith and the peeling.

    Over a large bowl, section the oranges, removing the membranes, any pith left and the seeds, retaining all of the pulp and juice.

    Over the same bowl repeat the process for the grapefruit mixing the fruit sections together. Add the fresh, peeled, cored and chopped pineapple or add the canned pineapple including the juice. Stir well to blend the fruits and the juices. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    Many families like to add other fruit and nuts such as the cherries, coconut, bananas and/or pecans. You may want to serve these additions in small bowls beside the fruit and let each make their own combination. The bananas, coconut and pecans will soften if you have leftovers, so I like to leave the oranges, grapefruit and pineapple separate. These three will keep 3 days easily in the refrigerator.

    Yield is based on the size of bags that you purchase.

    * Your best friend when preparing this dish is a good, sharp knife. I use a filet knife the blade is long but narrow and lightweight and very sharp.

    What Is In Ambrosia Salad?

    So what’s in this classic Ambrosia recipe anyways? A whole bunch of yummy stuff – that’s what!

    I have always used Cool Whip and sour cream in my Ambrosia recipe but many readers swap out the cool whip and make their ambrosia salad with just the sour cream. The salad will definitely not be as sweet this way or as creamy.

    Ambrosia recipe

    • Pineapple &ndash I like tidbits rather than chunks (drained but keep about 1/4 c. of the juice to add to your recipe)
    • Plain white or fruit flavored marshmallows
    • Sour cream
      • could substitute greek yogurt if you really wanted

      You can use less or more coconut. Or leave it out if it isn&rsquot your favorite, I&rsquom kinda&rsquo obsessed though.

      I have used light sour cream and regular and there isn&rsquot too much of a difference so if you want to save a few calories just use the light version.

      If you think sour cream would taste weird, it isn&rsquot what you&rsquod think. With all the sweet juices it just makes this thick but isn&rsquot the traditional taste straight out of the container. Tastes more like heavy cream in this dish.

      You can omit the marshmallows too but quite frankly that is the kids&rsquo favorite part and you can call it dessert if you want.

      It is sweet enough and my kids have opted for an ambrosia dessert rather than ice cream before.

      • A great side dish for any BBQ or occasion. If you love our easy ambrosia recipe you should try our creamy fruit salad too.

      A bit different but a similar idea though using fresh fruit and the dressing is a bit different.

      Why is it called ambrosia?

      The word &ldquoambrosia&rdquo actually means delicious or fragrant. The word also was used to describe the magical fruit of the gods in ancient Greek mythology.

      The gods on Mount Olympus ate ambrosia to maintain immortality and without it they became weak. It is also said that the gods bathed in ambrosia and used it as perfume. Who knew??

      Where did fruit salad originate?

      One of the oldest fruit salad is compote. This originated in England in the 17 th century. A traditional fruit salad is prepared with ingredients like fresh seasonal fruits, which have been diced or sliced and mixed together.

      The addition of cherries, coconut and other ingredients came later. After you make this try our pistachio pudding ambrosia recipe too.

      Can I make fruit salad the night before?

      Since ambrosia doesn&rsquot contain fresh berries that can smash, or apples that can brown you can. I personally prefer to make this first thing in the morning, cover it, and leave it in the fridge all day.

      It gets sweeter that way. If you want to thin it out before serving just add a bit of pineapple juice.

      • For fresh salads, you could cut and slice pieces the day/night before. Bananas are best left out of fruit salads, as they get &ldquoslickery&rdquo.
      • Once cut, rinse white fruits in an acid liquid such as orange or pineapple juice or lemonade to reduce browning.

      Want to see a few of my favorite things you might want to write on your Christmas list this year. 😉 Take a peek and see how many you might already have&helliptwinsies!

      Looking for more easy family recipes and tips? LIKE The Typical Mom Facebook page?

      ***** If you LOVED this recipe give it 5 Stars below and let everyone know what you thought about it. 😉

      Here&rsquos a printable recipe card for you too. Nutritional information with saturated fat etc are listed below but seriously, it&rsquos the holidays. Just enjoy it and ignore all that boring stuff. 😉

      Ambrosia Squares

      (Sort of a combo cream cheese square and Blondie recipe)

      • 1 cup butter, melted
      • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
      • 2 eggs
      • 1 ½ tbps lemon juice
      • 1 tbsp flour
      • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
      • 1/2 cup brown sugar
      • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 1 1/2 cups butterscotch, semisweet chocolate, peanut butter, or white chocolate chips, optional – I think butterscotch works best though.
      1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
      2. Grease and flour a baking dish.
      3. Melt butter in a bowl, mix together cream cheese, 2 eggs, lemon juice, sugar and vanilla, pour in butter.
      4. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add the flour mixture a bit at a time to the other mixture and mix until smooth.
      5. Fold in the chips, as desired.
      6. Spoon batter into baking dish. Bake for about 15 minutes at 375F, reduce to 300F and bake for about another 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick can be removed cleanly.
      7. Cool completely and cut into squares.

      “Don’t strain yourself,” Grover said. “Here.” He helped me hold my glass and put the straw to my lips.

      I recoiled at the taste, because I was expecting apple juice. It wasn’t that at all. It was chocolate-chip cookies. Liquid cookies. And not just any cookies—my mom’s homemade blue chocolate-chip cookies, buttery and hot, with the chips still melting. Drinking it, my whole body felt warm and good, full of energy. My grief didn’t go away, but I felt as if my mom had just brushed her hand against my cheek, given me a cookie the way she used to when I was small, and told me everything was going to be okay.

      -The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan

      Specialty Cakes

      Ambrosia aims to create custom cakes in a wide range of flavors and decorating techniques, including an expanding catalogue of fondant work, which enhance each and every occasion that is important to our customers in order to make every unique moment as special as possible. We work closely with our bridal parties during our one-on-one consultations to make sure that we are able to meet all of their needs for their special day. We pride ourselves on offering a first-rate product at a reasonable price and being able to make some of the most important decisions for one of the most important days as easy and enjoyable as possible and look forward to being able to do so for you.

      Cobb Salad Recipe: Full meal salad with plenty of greens, proteins, and toppings. Four kinds of greens, veggies, grilled chicken, crispy bacon, and hard-boiled eggs, topped with Cobb salad vinaigrette dressing, Roquefort cheese, and croutons.

      Turkey Salad with Tart Apple and Bleu Cheese: Fall salad, perfect use for leftover turkey. Mixed greens, roasted turkey, tart apple, caramelized pecans, and cranberries, topped with a fresh vinaigrette and bleu cheese.


      There were no canned mandarin oranges in the 󈧶s. You had to peel oranges, take the membrane off and cut them up. A real mess. Some people put in grapefruit segments too.

      Yes, preparing mandarin oranges was a pain. Thankfully we can buy them canned today! It is a lot easier now.

      That’s not exactly true. I was born, bred and raised in New York City 1951. I always loved Mandarin Oranges and my grandmother always had several cans of them in her pantry just for me. We used grapefruit segments as well. There were no mini-marshmallows back then. Nor did we use sour cream.

      It is always interesting to me how varieties of the same recipe exist in different areas of the United States. This recipe came from my husband’s grandma who lived in Vernal, Utah. She made the ambrosia salad in the 1950s with sour cream only — no whipped cream. And she added marshmallows. Perhaps she chopped large marshmallows. Her recipe card does not say. I slightly adapted her recipe to include whipped cream (which I think tastes better and other 1950s recipes include) and mini marshmallows (for convenience).

      Watch the video: Crunchy Walnut - Cinnamon Cookies (August 2022).