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Rum Balls

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Rum balls are a sweet addition to any adult party. They’re a make ’em and forget ’em kind of treat, perfect for celebrating and great with some vanilla ice cream.

When one of my friends heard that I was turning 21 and looking for recipes that used some kind of flavorful alcohol, she suggested I make rum balls.

I had no idea what those were.

A few days after the suggestion was made, one of the many blogs I follow posted a recipe for them. I figured, “why not? I’ll give it a try.”

I needed rum. Who do I turn to? Why, Captain Morgan, of course!

Captain Morgan Spiced Rum

The recipe I used for the rum balls comes from 12 Tomatoes. They’re a great blog and they are on Facebook, too. Check them out — they have some awesome recipes.

The ingredients were pretty easy to find at Walmart, with the exception of coconut flakes and ground pecans. Can you believe they only had sweetened coconut flakes? Lame.

I ended up settling for pecan chips over ground pecans, because that was the smallest they had, in terms of piece size. I used my little chopper to make them a bit smaller, still. Instead of coconut flakes, I bought a bottle of blue, green, purple, and white nonpareils.

I started counting out Nilla Wafers and began to panic around 30. I didn’t know if there were 75 wafers in one box.

There were. Barely.

There happened to be nine to spare.

I put them in a small bowl…



… Then into the chopper…

Cookies on the chopping... thing

… Then into the bowl…

Cookie bits!

… And then the chopper fell apart and went in the bowl, too.

Chopper in the bowl


It had merely unscrewed itself, so it was an easy fix. The bigger problem was the mess of cookie powder that was beginning to cover my countertop, apron, cabinets, and floor.

I’d clean it up after I finished the recipe. I would probably make even more of a mess while chopping the pecans.

They chopped pretty well. The chopper fell apart again at one point, this time into three pieces. Oh well.

By the end of the chopping, my hand really hurt. I took solace in the knowledge that I had nothing else left to chop for the recipe.

After all the dry ingredients had been measured and added to the bowl, I mixed them together until it looked to be relatively uniform.

All mixed.

I added the liquids to the mix and combined it until everything looked pretty well mixed. The recipe didn’t say when/where to add the 2 Tbsp of water, so I assumed it went in here.

It mixed faster and more easily than I had expected, and it smelled deliciously like rum (surprise surprise). Sadly, this was not a recipe where I used the “one for the recipe, one for me” approach, as much as I would have liked to. I would have been on the floor before the recipe was finished. At 5’2″ and a whopping 110 pounds, there really isn’t anywhere for the liquor to go.

Instead, I enjoyed the smell of chocolate and spiced rum.

All mixed!

I set out a Pyrex dish (one with a lid) and a tiny plate of nonpareils. I started pouring the nonpareils onto the plate and remembered the problem with nonpareils — they bounce.

I quickly changed plans and took out a small, high-sided bowl and poured the little beasties instead.

Pretty nonpareils

Time to get rolling.

I realized after one ball that this was going to use a LOT of sprinkles. I figured I would make as many nonpareil-covered rum balls as I could and I would cover the rest with the remainder of the Nilla wafers.

I found that keeping my hands damp made it easier to roll the batter without making a mess. I swirled the ball of dough around in the cup of nonpareils to minimize the mess on my hands. It occasionally flung a little beastie across my counter, but the tradeoff wasn’t too bad.

The small bottle of nonpareils didn’t go too far, but they certainly looked pretty.

Don’t try rolling the rum balls in a coating if the coating is in a dish. It gets all over your counter.

Use a bowl.

After I finished the first layer of rum balls and filled the bottom of the pan, I tore a piece of parchment paper and set it over top of them so that the second layer didn’t stick. I ended up tearing a sheet into three pieces and fitting them together like a sort of puzzle to cover the first layer.

Once the batter had all been rolled, coated, and placed, I covered the container and set it in the fridge (the recipe didn’t specify, but I figured I shouldn’t keep the food out on the counter, even if it was covered).

The recipe says to let them sit in an airtight container for 2-3 days and roll in the coating once more before serving.

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