Having a Ball

Talk about a whirl-wind holiday! Is it just me, or did this whole festive day seem to be eclipsed by the madness leading up to it? So much fuss for such a little event, Christmas already feels like a thing of the past, long gone and mostly forgotten. Of course, a few strong drinks no doubt enhances that sensation, and I must claim at least partial responsibility for that this year. While I remain a staunch non-drinker, I have admittedly developed a penchant for alcoholic additions to sweets. This curious dissonance grew more pronounced when my grandma generously gifted me with the better part of her liquor cabinet, previously languishing amongst the bulk wrapping paper and excess Tupperware in the cellar. Glistening bottles of Cassis, Grand Marnier, Framboise, and so many more all beckoned, splashing about beguilingly in the most innocent way a potential poison can manage. Carrying armloads of the ornate glass containers up the stairs and cramming them greedily into an overstuffed bag, little did I know just how these colorful liquids would soon paint my holiday season.

Oh, did I ever have a ball- And I made sure that everyone else had at least a dozen of their own, too! It started simply with my “famous” Pecan Pie Truffles, but all pretense of moderation quickly devolved from there. For friends, family, and anyone who happened to cross my path for the next few weeks, I crafted boozy peppermint mocha bites, chocolatey little numbers enriched with both Kahlúa and Creme de Mènthe. Next there were drunken apple jacks, living up to their names with a generous splash of Applejack to round out a cinnamon-spiced graham cracker base. By far, though, my favorite ball of the bunch were the Speculoos Rum Balls, sticking with the traditional addition of rum, but shaking things up with ground speculoos cookies, a touch of cocoa, and a creamy smear of speculoos spread. The combination of rum and brown sugar biscuits was positively intoxicating, and I swear that’s not just the alcohol’s doing.

There must have been at least 200 balls all told. Nonetheless, every last one was gleefully gobbled up before I realized what a gem I had inadvertently created for New Year’s celebrations as well. Only when it came time to edit the photos did I realize that my pick of the litter, decorated with sparkling pearlized sugar, looked just like the Times Square Ball due to drop at midnight in a scant few days from now. Although I’m quite excited to attend my very first Pineapple Drop this year instead, I don’t see why another round of speculoos balls wouldn’t be a welcome way to celebrate 2015 all the same.

Speculoos Rum Balls

1 7-Ounce Box (About 1 3/4 Cups) Finely Ground Speculoos Cookie Crumbs
1 3/4 Cups Cashew Meal or Almond Meal
1 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
1/4 Cup Natural Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Smooth Speculoos Spread
1/2 Cup Dark Rum

1/3 – 1/2 Cup Pearlized Silver Sugar, Sprinkles, or Additional Cookie Crumbs for Rolling

It’s flat-out impossible to ruin rum balls, so let’s keep this tutorial brief, shall we? Simply combine the ground cookies, nut meal of choice, sugar, and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Add in the speculoos spread and rum, and stir thoroughly to incorporate. The resulting mixture will be very thick; you may want to get in there and use your hands to make sure that there are no remaining pockets of dry ingredients. Once fully mixed, use a small cookie scoop or standard spoon to dole out tablespoon-sized pieces. Roll them into balls and then toss them in the sugar or sprinkles, until fully coated.

Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for about a week, or in the fridge for up to a month.

Makes 40 – 50 Balls

Printable Recipe

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11 thoughts on “Having a Ball

  1. These sound great. Boy, talk about liquor lovers, if someone were to look at my liquor cabinet, they’d think I was a major lush. I just adore alcoholic beverages, and with every trip to the liquor shop I return with something new. The range and diversity of what is out there holds something for everyone. I enjoy the sweet ones that I can sip for dessert like Amaretto, Verdenoce, Frangelico, and Biscotti Famosi, but I also enjoy the stronger libations like Punch Abruzzo. Then you get into the whole realm of the bitter ones, Ramazotti, Averna, Zucca, Campari, Aperol, and the big daddy of them all, Fernet Branca. I can’t forget the classics like rum, Scotch and rye. As you can see, I was not kidding when I wrote that I enjoy alcoholic beverages. I do not drink a lot, but I drink diverse! How is that for words to live by! All the best to you for a sweet and fulfilling 2015. It looks like you are off to a terrific start.

    P.S. The older I get the more quickly the holiday come and go!

  2. As the delighted recipient of one of these types of treats, I can attest to their deliciousness! On another note, this is such a beautifully-written post; I think I’ll read it again a couple times! Wishing you the sweetest, happiest, most love-filled new year, my dear Hannah!

  3. As usual Ms Hannah “DELISH!” Thank you for tirelessly sharing these delicious babies with us all out here in the blogosphere. Have a fantastic New Years Eve and see you in 2015 :)

    1. I should truly be the one thanking you! According to my “state of the blog” yearly stats from WordPress, you are my most frequent commenter. I’m so grateful for your kind words, support, and snappy responses! :)

      1. That’s because you are my most favourite vegan creative and cutting edge blogger Hannah. You always deliver an awesome result and I am constantly in awe of your ability to create amazing things from simple vegan ingredients. I bow to your awesomeness and and most proud to be your most prolific commenter. You deserve all of the kudos :)

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