Monday, January 4, 2010

[Cookie 056] Rum Balls

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Howdy! I'm excited to bring you today's recipe: Rum Balls. Why, you ask? Because every time I would open up The Book (which is in horrendous shape now, if you were curious) during the month of December, it would fall open to page 270--and facing me would be a big color photo of these sparkly rum balls. One of the Rum Balls in the photo is sliced in half and looks a lot like bologna or salami or some sort of bejeweled meatball, which only made me want to make this recipe even more.

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So what better day to make these alcohol-infused truffle-like treats than on my 20th birthday, as a way to begin the countdown to my 21st birthday (when every cookie will be soaked in hard liquor whether the recipe says so or not--kidding, Mom, lolz!!!1). Anyway, this was at the very beginning of that big snow storm that the east coast got a few weeks ago, so I was very excited to be livin' the life and baking cookies as the snow was falling outside my window and I was listening to some early Beatles' music. Good stuff.

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And clean-up is such a breeze! No need to bust out your ShamWow!

Oh and to top it all off, I got to use my new birthday present: A Cuisinart hand-mixer...in BRIGHT RED. So yeah, I was rockin out, doin' my thang, whiskin' a little of this, mixin' a little of that. All in all, feeling pretty bad ass, as I usually do.

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Unfortunately, because this isn't really a cookie recipe in the traditional sense, I didn't get to test out my hand mixer as I intend to use it (meaning, I didn't get to try it out on make some sort of hefty cookie dough). Instead, I only used it to whisk up the eggs for the brownie batter, and I think that it was a little too powerful for that simple job, seeing as I nearly wallpapered my kitchen with egg yolk 3 seconds after turning the mixer on. Okay, you can bust out the ShamWow now. Ah, with time I shall master you, dear Cuisinart Mixer, and then you'll know who's boss.

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But enough about me and my power struggles with kitchen appliances, let me tell you about this recipe. It's really a lot of fun to make, very hands-on, so probably great to do with kids (but I really wouldn't know, because I have absolutely no interaction with anyone under the age of 18, and I'm totally happy keeping it that way). The only baking involved is making a very very thin layer of brownies which you then tear up and reform into a ball of dough, with the help of the rum to hold it all together.

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Then, once you have a huge ball of chocolatey, rummy goodness, you roll individual balls in coarse sanding sugar (I used turbinado sugar) and refrigerate. Be sure to refrigerate, because if you eat them right after rolling them in the sugar the rum is so powerful that they taste like a shot of Rum with a slight aftertaste of chocolate. Post-refrigeration, however, they are awesome.

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Yes, they're good way to celebrate, that's for sure. Perfect for a New Year's Eve party...hello 2011!! Futuristic! Yeah, I'm laughing now, but it will be here before you know it, and then it will be 2012, and then the world will be destroyed by tsunamis or giant spiders and there will be no more cookies. But until then, make these Rum Balls and enjoy their intense chocolate-rum flavor and their awesome soft-yet-crunchy texture. They rock. They're glamorous. Glam Rock cookies. Or Pirate cookies, because of the Rum. Either way...Rock on, mates!

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Rum Balls
Makes 4 dozen

Ingredients
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • Coarse sanding sugar, for rolling

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside. Melt butter and chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in chocolate mixture, then fold in flour. Pour batter into prepared baking sheet. Spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake until top is shiny and a cake tester inserted into center comes out with some crumbs attached, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Break up brownie into small pieces; transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With machine on low speed, pour in rum, and mix until crumbs start to come together to form a ball.
  4. Shape into 1-inch balls, and roll in sanding sugar to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet; refrigerate, uncovered, until cold, about 2 hours. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Rum balls can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 week.
****
{End Results}
Baking Difficultly: 2/5
Ingredient Accessibility: 3/5 (Depends on your age/ability to get your hands on some booze)
Tastiness: 4/5
Attractiveness: 4/5 (The sugar I used was brown, but if you use white sanding sugar, they'd be even prettier!)
Is it worth it?: Yes, I do believe so. They're like truffles, minus all the hard work! The simple man's truffle!

{Pairings}
Drink: Champagne, just to add some more glitz. But please, no dunking--let's keep a bit of dignity, okay?
Song: Diamond Dogs -- David Bowie
Activity: A black tie cocktail party? I think so! Party on, Garth!

3 comments:

Kim said...

These look like they are so much fun to make! Gotta love rum balls, especially in a snow storm.

Becky said...

Those do sound yummy.

Rachel said...

Hey Lizzie! I work with (your cousin I think?) Dave at Crumbs and he directed me to your blog. I love it! Good luck with finishing everything, I want to cook my way through a whole book also!

xoxo
Rachel