I was recently invited to a housewarming party for some acquaintances of mine, and as usual pounced on the opportunity to not only see their new abode, but also to bless them with freshly made baked goodies.
I went to a mutual friend to get opinions on what I should make; I wasn’t sure if either of them had allergies or aversions to any particular flavors (nothing says “congratulations on your new house!” like making someone throw up or break out in hives).
After some quick discussion, it was decided that basically anything with alcohol in it would be acceptable, so I set out to try something new – rum balls! Why rum and not bourbon? Because I already had rum in my freezer. Boom. Decision made.
As usual, I found a great recipe from Joy of Baking, and these quickly became another favorite of mine; add them to my ever-growing list of “pretty and easy to make” recipes. The ingredients are simple, though I suppose a bit pricey if alcohol and pecans aren’t things you have laying around. I always seem to have rum hanging out in my freezer, mostly because I don’t drink it much (I haven’t had a party in awhile ;_;) and when I do it’s usually in small portions. The pecans I still had leftover from last Thanksgiving, which is good, because they still seem to cost an arm and a leg!
Even if you don’t have pecans, though, it’s perfectly acceptable to use other less expensive nuts. I don’t think the end product tasted particularly pecan-y to me; the nuts themselves aren’t really the dominant flavor, if you know what I mean. They add more to the texture than anything else.
The only thing I might have done differently with these is to increase the amount of vanilla wafers I used; even after sitting in the fridge overnight the balls were still a bit fragile. They wouldn’t fall apart if you touched them, but when you picked one up you could feel that it was still a bit soft. It was less of a big deal with the chocolate-covered versions, but the powdered sugar ones in particular felt a bit delicate. I had eyeballed the amount of cookies to put in (there I got cutting corners again!), so next time I’ll make sure I add in a few extra cookies to make them a bit more robust.
Even with their slightly fragile structure, these rum balls were good! The flavors were a pretty even mixture of rum and chocolate, and I found neither overwhelming (though the longer they sit, the more rum-y they taste). Great for any party and like I said earlier, easy to make. Plus you can have fun with making them decorative. ^_^
Rum Ball Recipe
From Joy of Baking.
- 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans
- 1 1/4 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tbs cocoa powder
- 2 tbs light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup rum
- Toast pecans at 350 degrees for ~8 minutes in the oven. Let them cool completely.
- Grind up the wafers in a food processor or blender. Put them in a medium bowl.
- Grind up the pecans in a food processor or blender. Add them to the bowl.
- Add the sugar and cocoa powder to the bowl and blend.
- Add the corn syrup and rum and blend.
- Chill the batter for ~10-20 minutes.
- Roll the dough into ~1 inch balls between your palms (< 1 tbsp per ball).
- Roll in powdered sugar.
- Melt chocolate (I used unsweetened) in a double boiler or in the microwave and roll the chilled balls in it. Lift out with two spoons and put on a tray with parchment paper on it. Chill in the fridge until the chocolate has solidified, then drizzle more chocolate on top for “fancier” designs.
- Check out Joy of Baking for more decoration suggestions!