Tips: These are from a 2000 column of mine.
I wasn’t going to include them at all here, but I just
got an e-mail from a reader looking ahead toward the holidays
who wondered if I had a recipe for chocolate rum balls. Why,
yes, I do. My food buddy Darrell told me his Aunt Jo always
made rum balls for the holidays. I never had Aunt Jo’s
recipes, but here are mine. Both types are easy to make (they're
not even cooked), and they must be the ultimate make-ahead
confection (I prefer to let them mellow for 10 days in the
refrigerator before serving them). Both have a definite alcohol
taste, and they’re really geared more toward adult gatherings.
I usually place these in small paper or foil candy cups for
serving. They will last for at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Both versions here are quite chocolatey, and a food processor
is a big help in making them. I use Nabisco Famous Chocolate
Wafers to make these (they're usually found near the ice cream
section in supermarkets). To form these balls, I use a small
(one inch diameter) cookie scoop, but you can use a teaspoon
if you prefer. Thanks for the idea, Darrell!
- 2-1/4 cups finely ground chocolate wafer crumbs
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
- Few grains salt
- Grated rind of 3/4 of a large, deep-colored orange (just
the zest--no white pith, please)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (the cream must be as fresh as possible)
- 1/4 cup dark rum (I like Myers's)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
In medium-to-large bowl, place chocolate wafer crumbs. In
food processor fitted with steel blade, process confectioners'
sugar, chopped chocolate, cocoa, and salt until chocolate
is finely ground. Add to wafer crumbs. With large spoon,
blend well until mixture is an even color (it will be an unappealing
gray color at this point--OK). Add orange zest, but do not
In small saucepan over low heat, heat cream to a simmer,
stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; pour hot cream into
dry mixture. Stir in (mixture will be thick). Gradually stir
in rum. Place a piece of plastic wrap (large enough
to cover the surface) right down on the surface of the mixture,
and chill for at least 90 minutes, until you can handle it.
For Coating: Onto a piece of wax paper, sift together cocoa
powder and confectioners' sugar. With your (dry) fingers
or a spoon, blend until coating is an even color.
Form generous one inch balls of the chocolate mixture, rolling
in the coating to cover completely. The chocolate mixture
will probably still be a bit soft after the initial chilling,
but handle the balls gently and you'll be OK. You'll probably
have some coating left over; store it, covered airtight, at
room temperature, and use it to re-coat the balls before serving
for a better appearance. Store coated balls in airtight container
in refrigerator; allow to mellow for at least 5 days before
For serving, re-roll the balls in coating as required. If
desired, place in small paper or foil candy cups. Allow to
stand at room temperature, covered, for about 10 to 15 minutes
before serving. Do not leave these at room temperature
for more than two hours.
About 4 dozen rum balls
Coffee Liqueur Balls:
You won't taste the cinnamon or pepper in these; both just
add to the flavor.
- 1-1/2 cups finely ground chocolate wafer crumbs
- 1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
- Few grinds of freshly, finely ground black pepper
- Few grains salt
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. coffee liqueur
- 2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Place wafer crumbs in medium bowl. In food processor fitted
with steel blade, combine confectioners' sugar, walnuts, cocoa
powder, cinnamon, pepper, and salt. Process until nuts are
finely ground. Add to wafer crumbs; with large spoon, blend
to an even color (color will be an unappealing gray at this
point--OK). Add coffee liqueur and corn syrup, and mix thoroughly.
Cover and let stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make Coating: sift together cocoa powder and confectioners'
sugar onto piece of wax paper. With your (dry) fingers or
a spoon, blend well to an even color. Form generous one inch
balls of the chocolate wafer mixture, and roll each to cover
completely in the coating. Store any leftover coating airtight
at room temperature. Store balls airtight in refrigerator
for at least 5 days before serving.
For serving, re-roll balls in leftover coating if required.
If desired, serve in small paper or foil candy cups. Allow
to stand at room temperature, covered, for about 15 minutes
About 3 dozen
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