My mother’s rum balls have been a feature of Christmas for as long as I can remember. If you ask my daughter what needs to be baked for Christmas the first thing she’ll say is “Grandma’s rum balls.”
Mum’s run balls are only for Christmas – they are too tooth-shatteringly sweet to be indulged in at any other time of the year. And then there’s the rum. Mum never held back on the rum which given she rarely drinks alcohol we all used to find amusing. While 3 tablespoons of rum spread across this many rum balls is barely a teaspoon in each, it’s probably best to keep them out of reach of the kids.
My mother really doesn’t enjoy cooking and this recipe, being a melt, mix and roll, is right up her alley. Plus she used to get us kids involved in the rolling into chocolate sprinkles bit. In fact, the only faffing about in this is to do with sifting the icing sugar (something Mum never did). If you don’t you’ll get tiny lumps of icing sugar that you’ll never get out. I can never be bothered with the palaver that is shaking it out with a sifter, so toss it all in the food processor and blitz it for a couple of seconds. Don’t look at me like that, it works.
Anyways, some notes on the ingredients. The recipe calls for copha – which is a coconut oil-based vegetable shortening. In the US the most common brand is, I think, Crisco, and in the UK it’s Trex, Flora White or Cookeen. When it comes to rum we use Bundaberg rum – we are, after all, in south-east Queensland. Any OP rum will do the trick though. I’m sure there are non-alcoholic alternatives and essences and the like, but you’ll need to google these for yourself.
Anyways, here’s the recipe…
What you need
- 50g melted copha or vegetable shortening
- 225g icing sugar, sifted
- 2 tbsp cocoa
- 3 tbsp OP rum
- 1 cup chopped sultanas
- chocolate sprinkles or desiccated coconut for rolling
What you do with it
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, pour in the copha and mix, adding enough rum to form a soft mixture.
Roll into small balls and then roll the balls into choc sprinkles or coconut and pop them in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up.