Fancy Rum Christmas Balls

  • Serves: Makes 4 dozen
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Rum balls are an easy no-bake candy, probably originated in Kentucky sometime in the early to mid 1900's. They're usually made with crushed vanilla wafers and rum or bourbon, but other liquors can be used.

1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted; measure and then, sift.
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder, optional

3 cups (12 ounces) vanilla wafers, finely crushed; crush and then, measure
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, walnuts or pistachios; chop and measure
1/2 cup dried cranberry (craisins), finely chopped; chop and measure
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons orange peel, finely minced or a few drops orange oil

1. In a small bowl, sift together the powdered sugar with the cocoa powder and instant espresso powder.

2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine crushed wafers, pecans, dried cranberries and the powdered sugar mixture; set aside.

3. In a double boiler over simmering water, melt chocolate morsels with corn syrup until almost melted. Add rum or Bourbon and vanilla extract; stir until melted and smooth.
Remove from heat. Stir in orange peel.

4. Pour chocolate mixture over wafer mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly. The mixture should be slightly moist, but not damp.
If the mixture is too dry, add more drizzles of melted chocolate and corn syrup at a time or just small amounts of corn syrup to moisten; take care not to add to much.
If too damp, add in more vanilla wafer crumbs or more powdered sugar mixed with a pinch of cocoa powder, and then sifted.

5. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls; place on waxed paper.

Chocolate Candy:
Place 1 cup chocolate sprinkles in bowl. Roll each rum balls into the sprinkles until covered.
Place on waxed paper in a container, adding more waxed paper between layers, or place in small paper or foil candy cups.

Powdered Sugar:
Place 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll balls in powdered sugar.
Place on waxed paper in a container, adding more waxed paper between layers, or place in small paper or foil candy cups.

Store chocolate covered balls in an airtight container in airtight container for about 3 days before serving.
Longer storage for several days to a week or more, in between sheets of parchment or waxed paper, in a cool, dry place.

The uncoated balls freeze well. Just place on a sheet pan and freeze until hard, then place into a resealable bag or an airtight container, between pieces of wax paper. Remove the ones you need to dip. Let them come to room temperature before dipping or the coating can crack when it chills too fast.

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