My family has been making these for decades. I took over making them when I was still in high school, it was a great opportunity to get to drink some rum with Mom’s permission.
My Mom was notorious in her love for these things. I would make them weeks before Christmas so that they would have time to mature, to become all that they were meant to be. Mom would sneak a few while I was making them and then I would hide them.
I hid them all over the place, in the hall closet, behind towels in the linen closet, behind the waffle maker in the back cabinet, once even in the attic. She always found them. Always. It was like a game for her, she would hunt them down while I was at work. When it was time for Christmas, the container would be at least half empty. I’d confront her with the jar and she would smile her Cheshire cat smile and giggle.
The recipe for the rum balls was originally in an old Junior League of DC Think Christmas craft/cook book. The copy we have is from 1976 and Mom bought it second hand in 1977 I think. Here is a picture of the original recipe:
Thank you, Mrs. B. Francis Saul, II. Thank you. This recipe has enriched our lives.
Here are the dry ingredients:
Here are the wet:
I like dark rum for this, and of course I used a WHOLE lot more than the 1/2 cup for the doubled recipe. It needs more liquid to stick together and that’s cool because it makes it rummier.
Here is what happens when the dry and the wet meet:
Now the recipe wants you to ball up this stuff and then roll it in confectioners sugar. I like to mix cocoa powder into it because that cuts down on the sweetness.
I like to set up my workspace so I don’t have to wipe up confectioners sugar and cocoa powder off my counter top and so I can arrange the finished balls in the container when they are all done.
BTW – that bowl? I love that bowl. I bought it for $5 at the Lindt store on clearance about 6 years ago. It’s heavy duty, stable and the exactly right shape for all sorts of tasks like this one.
A few rum balls in the cocoa/sugar bath:
Here they are, all done and happy: