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How to Make Christmas Sugarplums

These are the sugarplums of children’s dreams. Sugarplums are small candies made from dried fruit; kids love making them. If you’re making them for adults, try the spirited version; otherwise, use orange juice as the liquid.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/tjasam 2012]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/tjasam 2012

Sugarplums

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Yield: Thirty-six 1-inch sugarplums

1/2 cup finely chopped dried figs

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1/4 cup finely chopped dates

1/4 cup finely chopped dried cherries

1/4 cup finely chopped golden raisins

1/4 cup unsweetened grated coconut

2 tablespoons rum, orange liqueur, or orange juice

1 cup confectioners sugar (approximately)

  1. The various fruits and nuts should be uniform in size. Place the dried fruits, nuts, coconut, and liquid in a bowl and mix together thoroughly by hand or with a wooden spoon. Roll into 1-inch balls, lightly compressing the mixture so that it sticks together.

  2. Roll the balls in confectioners sugar and place in small fluted paper cups, if desired. A nice touch is to roll the ball so that half of it is covered in sugar and half of it is plain.

  3. Place in airtight container and refrigerate for up to one month.

Per serving: Calories 35 (From fat 18); Total fat 2g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 1mg; Carbohydrates 5g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 0g;.

You know how when you buy a box of fancy candy or chocolate, each piece is nestled in a little paper cup? These fluted paper cups can be found easily at craft stores and specialty food stores. The small ones, which are a little over 1 inch across, are perfect for candies such as these and give them a professional appearance. They also keep the candies from sticking together and make packaging them up for gifts much easier. And, well, they just look darn purty that way.

If you want to give the candies a nice finish, but don’t have any confectioners sugar around the house, simply roll them in granulated sugar. Another way to simplify the recipe is to use whatever dried fruits are easily accessible. Dark raisins are great, as are apricots.

To gussie these treats up, dip them in melted and lightly cooled chocolate, let the excess drip off, and then place them on a parchment-lined pan and refrigerate until set. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

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