Jan’s Christmas Rum Balls II

Adapted from Joy of Cooking

Every Christmas Jan, Myr and Eilene make Rum Balls as give-aways to our friends. Originally they followed the recipe in Joy of Cooking, but a few years ago they started to make changes (adding a little instant coffee, rolling them in cocoa powder rather than sugar, using other liquors rather than rum).

Jan’s Christmas Rum Balls

Jan’s Christmas Rum Balls
 
Chai Rum Balls
Chocolate Chip Grand Marnier Balls                             
                                                             Coffee Rum Balls

Last year they went a little over the top, but to wild success. They still maintained most of the proportions of the original recipe, but they did strange things to the ordinarily plain ingredients, like rum infused with coffee or spices, and adding crystallized orange peel.

This year they are continuing the research to find the perfect rum ball with new variations on the recipe. The most major change is that in previous years she used only one quarter cup of liquor. This was fine if you ate the rum ball on the first day, but after several days they tended to get a bit dry. This year she added a bit more and varied the liquors to make them moister.

Jan broke the recipe into two parts, the cookie base mix and the additions.  You can make several batches of the base mix and then make several very different cookies depending on what you add to the mix. You may easily scale up the measurements and process enough cookie base mix so that it will be ready to make many batches.

Jan uses graham crackers in her cookie base mix, but the original recipe says you can use toasted sponge cake or zwieback as well.  All that is important is that your cookie base be: dry, crumbly, not too strongly flavored, and that it sticks together well, without getting mushy, when moist. Also, Jan uses almonds, but you could use whatever nuts you prefer.

Jan’s Christmas Rum Balls II

Cookie Base Mix

Ingredients

2 cups crushed graham crackers (8 cups for 4 batches)
1 cup finely ground almonds (4 cups)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar (4 cups)
1/8 tsp. salt (½ tsp.)

Directions

1. Crush or grind the graham crackers into a fine meal.  We use a rotary grater that you cannot get as a standalone these days. It has a feeding tube that leads to a cylindrical rotating grater that quickly turns crackers and nuts into a fine meal.  If you have a large counter mixer you can get this as an attachment that fits on the front of your machine. If not, a box grater, a rolling pin or a few pulses in a food processor might do.  A blender would make the cracker (and nut) meal too fine and I don’t recommend it.

2. Once the crackers are turned into meal, measure out 2 cups per batch and place it in a large bowl.

3. Crush or grind the nuts into a fine meal.  Measure out 1 cup per batch and place it in the large bowl.

4. Add the sugar and salt to the bowl and mix well to evenly distribute the ingredients.

 

Coffee Rum Balls

Ingredients

4 cups Cookie Base Mix
1 ½ Tbs. honey (warmed)
¼ cup dark rum
1/8 cup Kailua
2 packages 3 in 1 instant coffee, separate uses

1 ½ Tbs. cocoa powder

Directions

1. Place the Base mix in a medium bowl, pour the honey over it and add the rum, Kailua and one package of the instant coffee. Mix by hand until the batch is moist, but crumbly.

Tip: You may need to add just a bit of extra base mix to get the consistency just right.

2. Take about 1½ to 2 Tbs. of mix in your hand. Squeeze and roll it into a 1 inch ball.

3. Mix the second package of the instant coffee and cocoa powder together on a small plate and roll the finished balls in it to coat them.

Chai Rum Balls

Ingredients

10 pods green cardamom
1 2 inch stick of cinnamon
5 coriander seeds
5 black pepper corns

4 cups Cookie Base Mix
1 ½ Tbs. honey (warmed)
¼ cup St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram liqueur
1/8 cup dark rum

2 Tbs. powdered sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

1. Take the seeds out of the cardamom pods and put them in a spice grinder with the cinnamon, cardamom and pepper, process to a fine powder.

2. Place the Base mix in a medium bowl, pour the honey over it and add the spices, the allspice liqueur and the rum. Mix by hand until the batch is moist, but crumbly.

Tip: You may need to add just a bit of extra base mix to get the consistency just right.

3. Take about 1½ to 2 Tbs. of mix in your hand. Squeeze and roll it into a 1 inch ball.

4. Mix the powdered sugar and cinnamon together on a small plate and roll the finished balls in it to coat them.

Chocolate Chip Grand Marnier Balls

Ingredients

4 cups Cookie Base Mix
½ cup candied orange peel
½ cup small dark chocolate chips
1 ½ Tbs. honey (warmed)
¼ cup Grand Marnier
1/8 cup dark rum

2 Tbs. powdered sugar

Directions

1. Very finely dice the orange peel.

2. Place the Base mix in a medium bowl, add the orange peel and the chocolate chips. Pour the honey over it and add the Grand Marnier and rum. Mix by hand until the batch is moist, but crumbly.

Tip: You may need to add just a bit of extra base mix to get the consistency just right.

3. Take about 1½ to 2 Tbs. of mix in your hand. Squeeze and roll it into a 1 inch ball.

4. Put the powdered sugar on a small plate and roll the finished balls in it to coat them.

4 Comments

Filed under Desserts & Treats, Treats

4 responses to “Jan’s Christmas Rum Balls II

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