Monday, December 19, 2011

Baking with Booze Part 1: Rum Balls

My Grandma always used to make whiskey balls for the adults for Christmas. When my brother and I were younger we tasted them out of curiosity, but at the ages of 6 and 8, respectively, we were ultimately repulsed by their spicy, slightly boozy nature. Even in my adult life, I don't like whiskey anything, but I was compelled to resurrect Grandma's tradition for some reason, perhaps because for some reason the holidays always inspire me to cook or bake with booze. I couldn't find her recipe, but my mom referred me to "The Twelve Days of Christmas" cookbook which has a fabulous Whiskey Ball recipe. I followed the recipe to a T the first time, but this only reaffirmed my dislike for whiskey.  So I gave the balls to my dad and decided to try again, this time using rum and modifying some other components of the recipe.  The result is below.  These balls are a quick, no bake, crowd-pleasing treat.  Even my fiance who doesn't consume liquor thinks they're delicious!

Rum Balls* - (Preparation time: 25 minutes; Yields:  approx. 24 balls)

1 c. vanilla wafer crumbs
1 c. walnuts, chopped
1/2 c. pecans, chopped (optional)
1 c. confectioners (powdered) sugar
2 heaping Tbsp. of Hershey's cocoa powder
1/3 c. of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum
1 tbsp. white Karo syrup

1.  Crush vanilla wafers until you have 1 c. of crumbs.  (see Tips #1 and #2 below)
2.  Finely chop 1 c. of walnuts
3.  Combine vanilla wafer crumbs, walnuts, pecans, cocoa and confectioners sugar.  Blend thoroughly.
4.  Add the rum and Karo syrup.
5.  Mix well and form in to 1/2-1 inch wide balls
6.  Roll the balls in powdered sugar and store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.

*A few tips before you start:
1.  Don't buy generic vanilla wafers. The difference in taste compared to the original "Nilla" wafer is apparent.
2.  If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer, and you have the slicer attachment, use the smallest serrated insert which will grind the wafers and nuts nicely (and save you a lot of work!).
3.  Be generous with the booze.  I use Captain Morgan's Spiced rum.
4.  When rolling the balls scrape your hands with a spatula or wash them halfway through the batch otherwise the balls get sticky and gooey and lose their smooth texture.
5.  For best results, make 2 weeks ahead of when you plan to serve to give the balls time to age.  If you don't have two weeks, at least make them a couple of days before so they have time to firm up.

1 comment:

  1. These are incredible with rum or whiskey! Awesome recipe. Thanks :)


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