Friday, December 16, 2011

Rum Balls


One of my favorite memories of Christmas is of the rum balls my mother used to make. So I spent yesterday morning, hands sticky with dough, enjoying the intoxicating fragrance, and singing (I was alone in the house -- the only condition under which I attempt to sing):

Away, away with rum, by gum, 
Rum by gum, rum by gum.
Away, away with rum, by gum,
The song of the Temperance Union.

We're coming, we're coming, our brave little band,
On the right side of temperance we do take our stand.
We don't use tobacco because we do think
That the people who use it are likely to drink.

We never eat fruitcake because it has rum,
And one little bite turns a man to a bum.
Can you imagine a sorrier sight
Than a man eating fruit cake until he gets tight? 
(For more lyrics, go HERE.)
Rum (or bourbon or brandy) Balls

1 box  vanilla wafers...1 cup chopped pecans... 1 cup powdered sugar ... 3 TBS. white corn syrup ... 2 TBS. cocoa powder ... 1/2 cup rum (or bourbon or brandy) additional powdered sugar for coating rum balls. 

Crush vanilla wafers. (I remember putting them between sheets of waxed paper and using a rolling pin to do this. The food processor is much easier and less messy,)

Sift sugar and cocoa powder into the crumbs. Add the pecans and mix well. Stir in corn syrup and rum and mix well.  Roll into balls (buttering your hands helps a lot) then roll balls in powdered sugar (no snickering there, you in the back.)

Store in air-tight tin.  Makes about 3 1/2 dozen  (I doubled the recipe.)

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23 comments:

Mamabug said...

My those sound delish! Definitely not a treat for the kids!

Joan said...

Num-yum-yum!

Martin said...

They sound/look delicious. By the way, how did you know I was sat at the back?

Ms. A said...

Where's my rum? I think I might actually be able to do this!

Hope you don't mind me copying this recipe.

Alan Burnett said...

Oh I remember Myers Rum from my frequent visits to the West Indies. We have been "feeding the fruit cake" over recent weeks : slowly infusing substantial quantities of brandy into it.

Brian Miller said...

nice...we used to make so much christmas candy...the peanut butter log was my fav...but might have to give this a try

Pat in east TN said...

Oooooh, YUM!

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Hello Vicki

Thank you for sharing your family recipe with your readers~I love family recipes!

I also love your flour sifter. You do not see the old ones to much anymore.

Have a great weekend.

Best
Tracy :)

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Sounds worth the sticky hands. You have some wonderful food traditions Vicki. And everything is always better with rum.
Sam

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

I could just hear the Chad Mitchell Trio in the background. Stir, taste, ..more rum.. stir taste...more rum..stir taste.. Jim

Barbara Rogers, Potter said...

Oh goodie...I've been thinking about these...now have to take the majority of the proceeds to someone else's house so I don't eat them all!

Rainsong said...

Yep, those are the real deal. Nilla Wafers and Corn Syrup. Yeish! My mother-in-law made these for the family every year. Sneaking rum balls was a happy tradition for the kids. They were not supposed to have any of these but momma and dad knew they would get their stolen treat. One did not hurt any of them. Now I make them in honor of her. I keep looking for a way to make them "from scratch" but there isn't a way. These are the reason there is still corn syrup in my pantry....same with the cereals for nutz-n-boltz (I think they call it chex mix now) and clam dip. Christmas tradition at grannies house. It just cannot be made healthy..... christmas comes but once a year...so, like kids who steal rum balls with giggles (and grins from granny while she threatens them with the wooden spoon), we will live...and laugh.

Merisi said...

Delicious!
I'll be coming from the mountains ...
well ... I'll bring a pot of tea, does that sound right?

Kath said...

Yum! And I didn't even have to beg for the recipe! Thank you.

Gwen in Hampton said...

We have a wonderful old family recipe for fruit cake that does not involve liquor. It just dawned on me now, while reading your post, why my grandmother did not soak her cakes in liquor - she was a card carrying member of our Methodist church WCTU circle!
I remember my Dad going over on "Fruit Cake Sunday" in late fall, to help my grandmother mix the batter in her large old porcelain covered dish pan. She made several cakes at once. The walnuts were from her own tree. She would spread them out on her oyster shell driveway and Dad would drive over them with the car to break those hard outer green pods. The pecans were from her own trees, too. It was the job of all the cousins to gather them, and everyone who came to visit in the weeks before, took turns cracking and shelling them. My dad would bring over our heavy old electric mixer, detach the head and mix the cakes for her, as the mixer head was too heavy for her to lift. Once baked, they would sit in the front bedroom which was an old converted porch with no heat, awaiting Christmas day. Every year, I vow to try my hand at making one. Maybe, now that I'm retired, I can give it a try - next year!

Vicki Lane said...

Martin, I heard you the instant I typed those words.

Ms. A -- I hope lots of folks get inspired to make these little yummies. So easy- they don't need refrigeration and they make nice gifts.

Alan -- I used to make quite good fruitcakes and always enjoying that part of the ritual.

Tracy -- that was my mother's flour sifter -- I love old kitchen stuff -- and I love my Cuisinart too!

Sam -- you got that right!

Jim -- well, when my hands got too sticky, I'd lick off the yummy stuff then go wash them and re-butter. It happened sheveral times. ..

Rainsong -- the health police can just take a break at this time of year, as far as I'm concerned. I have two bottles of corn syrup in my pantry, each probably twenty years old. The light is for rum balls; the dark for pecan pie (though this year I used sorghum molasses and it was great.) I expect those bottles will finally be used up somewhere around 2023.

Merisi -- I think it would have to be melange.

Deanna said...

My Aunt, who we always called Sister Teddy (because she was a Catholic nun ;) always made these every Christmas. It was such a sinful treat for us kids. Leave it to Catholic lushes to introduce their children to alcohol through Christmas treats. Thanks for the memory!

Cute lyrics.

Southwest Arkie said...

Yum! I think I might have to try this recipe- looks delish!

Star said...

I bet they taste delicious. You obviously like them a lot if you doubled the recipe. Perhaps after Christmas I will ask you exactly how many you did eat? hee hee

NCmountainwoman said...

I clicked on the link. Wow! I never knew that song had so many verses. My Chad Mitchell LP had the ones you cited and the one about "We never eat cookies because they have yeast..." Thanks goodness it's not such a bad song to run through one's head.

We made these (ours were bourbon balls) in spite of our Southern Baptist household. It was a Christmas cookie after all. Did you ever make that no-cook candy with powdered sugar and peanut butter? I always think of them when I think of making bourbon balls.

100 Thoughts of Love said...

we used to make rum or bourbon balls...but ours were chunks of angelfood cake, iced with a rum laced buttercream....then rolled in crushed pecans...i remember as you held the ball of cake and iced it, tyour finger s would be covered in icing...so a lick in between each one was always in order. My mom always kept the ones we made on a separate plate, since we theoretically licked everyone!

100 Thoughts of Love said...

we used to make rum or bourbon balls...but ours were chunks of angelfood cake, iced with a rum laced buttercream....then rolled in crushed pecans...i remember as you held the ball of cake and iced it, tyour finger s would be covered in icing...so a lick in between each one was always in order. My mom always kept the ones we made on a separate plate, since we theoretically licked everyone!

Brenda said...

I made these this year, only I used bourbon and I did not sing. And I might have added a bit more bourbon than it called for...