Make Ahead: Store the rum balls with or without the sugar coating, layered between sheets of parchment or wax paper in an airtight container and kept in a cool area for up to 3 weeks.
Servings: 35 balls
- About 30 store-bought gingersnaps, ground in a food processor (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for rolling
- 1 cup skinned hazelnuts, toasted, cooled and finely chopped (see NOTE)
- 4 to 6 tablespoons honey
- 4 to 6 tablespoons rum or whiskey
Combine the ground gingersnaps, cocoa powder, 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar and the toasted chopped hazelnuts in a large bowl. Add 4 to 5 tablespoons of the honey and 4 to 5 tablespoons of the rum or whiskey, stirring until the mixture is evenly moistened and slightly sticky and holds together when you squeeze a bit of it in your hand. (If the mixture seems too dry, add the remaining honey and/or rum or whiskey.)
With slightly damp hands, shape the mixture into walnut-size balls, then roll them in confectioners' sugar.
The rum balls' flavor improves with a few days' aging. Store in an airtight container between layers of parchment paper for up to 3 weeks.
NOTE: Toast the hazelnuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat for about 4 minutes, stirring or shaking the skillet often, until they darken in color and become fragrant.
Adapted from "Gingerbread: Timeless Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Desserts, Ice Cream, and Candy," by Jennifer Lindner McGlinn (Chronicle, 2009).
Tested by Micki Douglas.
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