How to Make Chocolate Almond Rum Balls for Purim

Chocolate stands for celebrations, and these scrumptious sweets make great additions to the traditional Purim gift boxes of treats — if you manage to resist eating while you’re shaping them! The mixture takes moments to make, and you can prepare it from pantry staples, such as leftover cookies, cocoa, chocolate, and nuts. Depending on what you have on hand, you can vary the taste and texture according to your impulse. Graham crackers work well, as do basic sugar cookies and cake crumbs.

Chocolate Almond Rum Balls

Preparation time: 1 hour

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2-1/2 dozen

Keeping kosher: Dairy when made with butter; pareve if made with pareve margarine

4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup sweet wine

2 tablespoons rum

5 tablespoons butter or margarine, room temperature, cut in pieces

1-1/4 cupscookie crumbs (made from 4 to 6 ounces simple, unfilled cookies)

1/2 cup toasted almonds

1 cup coconut

  1. Combine the chocolate, cocoa, sugar, wine, and rum in a heavy, medium saucepan. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring often, until the chocolate melts. Remove from heat and add the butter. Stir the mixture until the butter melts and blends in.

  2. In a food processor, grind the cookies to fairly coarse crumbs. Stir them into chocolate mixture. Add the almonds to the processor and process until finely chopped. Add them to the chocolate mixture and mix well. Transfer to a bowl. Refrigerate the mixture about 30 minutes, or until it is just firm enough to shape in balls.

  3. Prepare a shallow bowl or tray and put the coconut in it. To shape the sweets, take about 2 teaspoons of the chocolate mixture and roll it quickly in your palms to a smooth ball. Set the ball in the coconut and roll it until it is completely coated. Set it on a plate. Refrigerate 1 hour or up to 1 week before serving. Serve the candies cold or at room temperature, in candy papers.

If you like, substitute orange juice for the wine and the rum. Also, use coconut that is finely grated.

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