Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cookies, Cookies... Rum Balls

Today in NOTL:  A grey and chilly day, with temps at 34F/1C at nearly-noon, and light snow throughout the day.

I've been waiting for the snow, and it finally came.  We've had a few snow-teases in which the weather folk issued dire predictions which failed to come to pass, but today we're seeing fluffy wet flakes and it sure is pretty outside.  It hasn't begun to collect on the ground yet (I think it's still too warm for that), but the rooftop across the street is nicely white.

All right: I'll say it.  I miss the fireplace from the house on Gate St.  As fireplaces go, it wasn't much of one.  The fan made quite a lot of noise and the ceramic logs looked pretty fake.  Being a gas fireplace, it didn't offer the wonderful popping and play of flames that make wood fires so beautiful.  Still, it was lovely to see and I'll miss it this winter.

Here in the new place, instead of a fireplace, we have a wall of bookcases and cupboards - extremely convenient and attractive as well...but it can't touch a fireplace for adding that cozy feeling to a room.  I'm toying with the idea of a nice ceramic dish filled with candles of varying heights, pillars and votives.  Next best thing?  *sigh*

Today's cookie is one reminiscent of my early childhood:  rum balls!  I believe it was a cousin who used to make them every Christmas for the grownups rolled in cocoa and a rum-less variety for us kids, rolled in confectioner's sugar.  It's a nice one, pretty basic.  I added the spice to the mix on the recommendation of a friend and it is a nice addition, though I never had any trouble getting folks to eat 'em without, lol.

This makes a tasty rumball, but don't be afraid to experiment.  Try chips instead of nuts, maybe.  Vary the liquor.  Use almonds and amaretto; omit the cocoa and try anisette or creme de menthe for holiday confections - just keep track of what you add and how much so you'll be able to repeat your successes!

Rum Balls
1 cup confectioner's/icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, optional
1/2 cup dark rum
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 1/2 cups vanilla wafers, crushed to crumbs
1 cup finely chopped, toasted pecans
Coating:  confectioner's or icing sugar, cocoa powder, coconut, sprinkles, etc.

1.  Sift or stir together sugar, cocoa, and spice.

2.  Add rum and syrup, stirring well.
3.  Add nuts and wafer crumbs, mixing thoroughly.
4.  Place mixture in refrigerator to rest for a half-hour or more.

5.  Roll mixture into small balls, then roll each in sugar or other coating.
Store in tin with tight cover.  Yield varies depending on size of cookies.

Art for today is a little snow-covered tree I did last year.

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