Dear Red Couch Readers, it is that wonderful time of year, when your mind turns to dreams of making sweets for your loved ones. You go through old magazines and recipe files, and with the advent of Pinterest, you pour over the Pinterest boards. You think of these treats as you lie in bed, drive in traffic, or take a shower! Maybe this will be the year that you try making Venetian Bars or Linzer Cookies, or that smashing new fudge?
I have a new sweet for your to put on your list and make -- Almond Rum Balls.
These rum balls are really dream-worthy. Now these rum balls are not just your everyday kind of candy you make at Christmas. This is the kind of candy that you bring out or give to your "bestest" loved ones and friends. They have an amazing flavor and I love the crunch of biting into them and breaking the chocolate around the rum center. The rum center is so addictive.
My favorite candy to make at Christmas is my husband's Grandma Utahna Felix's Vintage Toffee recipe. I have made up to 24 batches at Christmas before. You can find the recipe and directions to make this amazing toffee here, but these rum balls are a close second.
I am not a chocolate dipping queen like my sister Jacqueline at Purple Chocolate Home. If you are like me, a non-chocolate dipping queen, these are the perfect chocolates for your to make. This is Jacqueline's recipe, and it is so good! Thanks for this yummy recipe Jacqueline. If you are a chocolate dipping queen like Jacqueline, you can find more precise directions for using tempered chocolate in this recipe on her blog.
The recipe for the rum balls is fairly simple.
Almond Rum Balls Recipes
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 cup softened butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14-Ounce)
1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1-2 cups dipping chocolate -- I use good quality milk chocolate chips -- the best I can get in my small town is Guittard.
3-4 cups chopped and toasted almonds or pecans -- you can quickly whir them in a food processor or blender. Today I used pecans, other days I have used almonds. I prefer the taste of pecans. To toast, spread nuts over a jelly roll pan and bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Watch carefully, as they can burn easily. Cool, then whirl the nuts in a blender.
To make the almond-rum centers, put the sugar, butter, sweetened condensed milk, and the extracts.in a large bowl in a mixer and mix well. Store covered in the fridge overnight.
Take the mixture you have refrigerated over night and make into small balls, less than one-inch (1/2-inch to 3/4-inch) in diameter. Put a bit of flour on your hands to try to control the stickiness of the almond rum mixture. Store the balls in fridge for an hour or so so that they are firm when you are dipping them in chocolate. You could also freeze the rum centers so they are easier to dip.
In large medium bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, in 10 second increments, being very careful not to burn the chocolate. After each 10 seconds in the microwave, be sure to stir the chocolate as the chocolate is most likely melted more than you think. Let the chocolate cool a bit before you dip the rum centers in the chocolate. Jacqueline says that the chocolate should be cool when you place a tad bit on your bottom lip. Dip the rum centers, and then try to flick off , with quick switches of your wrist, as much chocolate as you can. If the chocolate gets hard while you are dipping, just reheat it in the microwave.
The nuts pictured below were hand-cut. The rum balls pictured above had nuts whirred in the blender.
Roll the chocolate-covered rum ball in the chopped nuts. Then store the chocolate and nut crusted rum ball in the fridge.
This is a picture of the rum balls made with larger nut pieces.
Store all of the rum balls in the fridge until you give them away. You should also give instructions to the happy recipient that the rum balls should be stored in the fridge. Pack some up in pretty tissue and give them to a loved one. The silver jingle bells have magnets attached, and are a little "happy" I am including in my Christmas goodies this year.
On a Christmas side note, we have a huge basket of Christmas books in our Red Room. I caught my 16 year-old reading a Christmas children's book to my 12-year old today. As soon as I grabbed my camera, they hid. Now of course my younger daughter can read, in fact she is a great reader, but since they were little my older daughter has read to her. Sometimes they switch off reading. they are just like me; I love children's books.
Don't you just love the Christmas season?
I hope you are having fun in all your preparations for Christmas. Thanks for dropping by the Couch.
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