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Author Notes: I’ve been using gingersnaps instead of vanilla wafers in my rum balls for quite a few years now. This year, I’m taking things in a new direction, having discovered, during an advanced jam-making and flavor-combining class at The Blue Chair Fruit Company, how plums – and plum brandy -- enhance the flavors of so many fruits. As you’ll see with these, plum brandy also works magic on the classic dried fruits of the holiday season, especially when paired with the warm spices traditionally used with them. Enjoy!! ;o) —AntoniaJames
Makes 18 - 24 balls
- 8 ounces ginger snaps (I use gluten-free ginger snaps, which are increasingly easy to find)
- 4 pitted prunes
- 2 heaping tablespoons dried sour cherries or dried cranberries
- 2 ounces (about ½ cup) pecan, walnut or almond pieces, or toasted pine nuts
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon lightly crushed anise seed (optional, but recommended)
- 2 teaspoons molasses
- Zest of one orange, grated
- 1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (optional . . . replace with confectioners’ sugar)
- 2 tablespoons plum brandy + more if necessary (or apple or other fruit brandy, or rum)
- Superfine granulated sugar for rolling
- Pulverize the gingersnaps in a food processor to make fine crumbs. Add the dried fruits and process for about thirty seconds, to fully break down and incorporate them.
- Add the nuts or pine nuts, the spices, molasses, orange zest, confectioners’ sugar and cocoa, if using.
- Process until the nuts are finely chopped, but still distinguishable.
- Add the brandy and process just until a large lump forms on the blade. Let the mixture rest for about an hour. Check the moisture level: some dried fruit is stickier/wetter than others, so you may need a touch more brandy. Add a tablespoon, mix well, and test again.
- Remove the blade and scoop out heaping tablespoons of the mixture and roll each into a ball. Set the balls on a plate and allow to rest for at least an hour. (It takes a while for the crumbs to absorb the moisture in the other ingredients.)
- Roll the balls in the granulated sugar. These will keep, tightly covered, for three or four days. When storing, put a piece of parchment paper between each layer, and don't crowd them too tightly on each layer.
- Enjoy!! ;o)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Edible Gift
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Holiday Confection