They Sort Of Said Christmas by Alexa Snow

"Who died and left you thinking you could cook?" Nate asked, wrinkling up his nose as he came into the kitchen.

Carter frowned, but it ended up being directed at the cookies he was carefully lifting from the cookie sheet. "You do realize those two thoughts don't actually connect in any way?"

"What, 'you' and 'cooking?'" Nate was smirking; Carter could hear it in his voice.

"Yes," he said, long-suffering. "Sure. Don't worry, I won't expect you to eat any of these."

"What are they?" Nate leaned over his shoulder, chest bumping Carter's elbow.

"Cookies?" Carter said. "Christmas cookies."

"They don't look very Christmasy."

"They're coconut macaroons with cranberries," Carter said, shrugging. "I don't know, they sort of said Christmas to me."

"Now the cookies are talking to you?" Nate snaked an arm around and grabbed one of the cool ones off the rack, then took a huge bite and chewed appreciatively. "Damn."

"Oh, are they good?" Carter asked.

"Good? They're fucking great. I take back everything I said." Nate reached for another cookie, and Carter grinned.

Coconut Cranberry Macaroons

About 1 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 large egg
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked dried coconut


1. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1 1/2 cups butter, sugar, orange peel, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in egg, until well blended.

2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture, stir to mix, then beat on low speed until dough comes together, about 5 minutes. Mix in cranberries and coconut.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on buttered 12" x 15" baking sheets.

4. Bake in a 350 degrees F regular or convection oven until cookie edges just begin to brown, 11 to 15 minutes (shorter baking time will yield a chewier cookie; longer baking time will yield a crispier cookie). If baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.

Yield: About 6 dozen cookies

Carter and Nate make their first appearance in Alexa Snow's Clear Cut.