Thursday, December 23, 2010

The One with The Rum Balls

Now before you start thinking I've turned into an alcoholic baker, I will tell you that these candies are not actually made with rum, although I think you could if you wanted. Around here, we use orange extract as a substitute. I'm not actually sure how that works out, because the two are really not at all the same, but that's just how it's done.

Rum balls are a Christmas tradition (I know, you're shocked, another tradition) for my family. They are also an acquired taste, so if you don't like them after you make them, send them my way!

You will need:
  • 1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. light corn syrup
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 2 1/2 c. finely crushed vanilla wafers (about 5 dozen)
  • 1 c. finely chopped nuts (we use walnuts)
  • 1 tsp. orange extract
  • extra sugar (for rolling)
Step 1: Melt the chocolate chips. The best way to do this is in a double boiler. We make our own by filling a pan with water, then balancing a bigger pot on top of it. This is important! If you just melt the chocolate with no water underneath it, IT WILL BURN!

Step 2: While the chocolate is melting (don't forget to watch and stir), use your food processor, or whatever you might have, to chop the vanilla wafers and nuts. We usually end up chopping a bunch of extra - it's good to have more in case you need to add it in at the end.

Step 3: Once the chocolate is melted, take it off the stove (but leave it in the big pot - you'll just mix everything together in the pot). Stir in the sugar and corn syrup. Then mix in the water. Next, add the orange extract. Finally, mix in the vanilla wafers and nuts. Add it in little by little because it will get hard to mix, but keep going. Keep adding until the chocolate is all mixed in with the dry mixture. By the end, the mixture needs to be thick enough to be able to roll into balls.
Step 4: Roll the mixture into balls. This part takes forever (kind of like cake balls) but if you have help, it will go faster. Some people in my family like to make little 1-inch balls, others like to make huge ones, and sometimes we end up with super tiny ones - it's really your choice!

Step 4 1/2: As you roll the balls, put them into a bowl of sugar and roll them around in the sugar until they are coated. Sometimes we like to have 2 people roll the mixture into balls and 1 person roll them around in the sugar, it just depends on how much help you have!

Step 5: Once you have all of the mixture rolled into balls and rolled in sugar the first time, go back and roll all of the balls in sugar again to make sure they look good. Then put them all on a cookie sheet and cover them with foil.

Important: DO NOT EAT THEM YET! They will NOT taste good and you will never want to eat them again. They need at least 2-3 days to age. The longer, the better, really. Just put them in an out of the way place where you won't be tempted to sneak one early! And seriously, if you don't like them, bring them over to my house!

Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They were delicious! Can't have Christmas without rum balls! :)