The Best Christmas Cookie for Men: Rum Balls
BY MATT GOULET
We've said it before: Men don't bake. It's still true, of course. Because when it comes down to it, most of us would prefer to polish off our holiday meal with the salty-sweet crust of a honey-glazed ham rather than a crumbly cookie.
Christmas sweets are all well and good, but it can be difficult to feel self-assured biting the leg off of a meticulously icing-topped gingerbread man while your four-year-old niece plays with another one of them in the corner.
Praise whichever religious icon you choose to honor, then, for the rum ball — the only holiday cookie for grown men. It is boozy and it is sweet, and it can be made without even turning on an oven. My grandma's been making them for years.
But it hasn't been until recently, as the kids have gotten older and developed a taste for the hard stuff, that the rum ball has become the most popular item on the table after dinner is cleared and the coffee set out. It helps that my grandma likes her rum, but she never uses her good booze for the recipe.
Of course, that doesn't stop her from taking a pull from whichever bottle of rum (or, sometimes, bourbon) she's throwing into the batch. And that's the beauty of an adult dessert like this one: There's a looseness to it, no exacting science like pulling off the perfect chocolate-chip cookie.
You like your rum balls with a little more kick? Add more rum. Like them sweeter? A touch more sugar. That's it. And they only get better as the holidays drag on.
Faithfully reproduced below, my grandma's recipe:
Makes about 4 or 4.5 dozen rum balls
• 1 6-ounce bag of Nestle Toll House semisweet chocolate chips
• 3 tbs light corn syrup
• 1/2 cup dark rum or bourbon
• 2.5 cups vanilla-wafer crumbs (run them through a food processor
to get the right consistency)
• 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
• 1 cup finely chopped walnuts (or whatever nut you prefer)
Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Add the corn syrup and liquor and stir. Take the pan off the heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix everything together and let it sit for about 30 minutes until things have firmed up a bit.
Form the mixture into balls and roll them through the sugar. Make them a few days in advance "to let them season," as my grandma says.https://www.esquire.com/food-drink/a12160/rum-balls-recipe-6622024/