We never had a lot of holiday traditions, and of those, many have slipped away as our children grew older. I don't remember when we started making rum balls, but even when we don't put up a tree or decorate the house, we still make rum balls. This is Chuck's project from start to finish, and he gives them as gifts to neighbors, family, friends and co-workers, all of whom start asking about them in the fall.
Chuck uses the recipe from the Joy of Cooking but modifies and expands it. There is not a single local ingredient in them, but enjoy them anyway. Happy Holidays.
(Joy of Cooking)
About sixty 1-inch balls
Sift together into a medium bowl:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Whisk together in a small bowl until well mixed:
¼ cup bourbon or dark rum
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Stir into the cocoa mixture and set aside. Combine:
2 ½ cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Stir into the cocoa mixture.
Roll the mixture into balls between your palms (the balls do not have to be even). Roll in:
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
Place in fluted candy cups. Store between layers of wax paper in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
Chuck's Changes to the recipe:
The past couple of years, Chuck has used 151 rum. He has also used Kahlua, and a Godiva chocolate liqueur. I prefer the Kahlua or the Godiva, and I think the 151 is much too strong. But I am not fond of alcohol in general, and he tells me everyone else loves them.
Also, he has been using a 1:1 mixture of ginger snaps and vanilla wafers instead of straight vanilla wafers. One new tradition- EunJee, a foreign student from Korea has been making the rum balls with Chuck for the past 5 or 6 years.
Mixing the "batter".