Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Treats

When I was a kid, my mom and I made Christmas candies every year for friends and family. Well, she would make the candies and together we would bag them up in these cute little "gingerbread houses" that we would make out of lunch bags. We'd cut the top couple inches off of a brown paper lunch bag and take red construction paper and make a square that was a little wider than the paper bag and we'd fold that in half and make that the roof. My mom had scissors that cut zig-zagged edges. We'd cut doors and shutters out of construction paper and draw on the windows with marker and use other craft supplies to complete the gingerbread house look. The paper bag would roll over itself a little at the top and my mom would hole punch holes into the roof and paper bag, tying the roof on with Christmas ribbon. I actually found a kit online to make similar looking gift bags. The picture below is linked to a package of 12 sold at Oriental Trading.

Now I make Christmas candies and cookies in my own home, though not as many as my mom used to. I buy Christmas tins and gift bags - as busy as my mom is, I don't know how she found the time to make candies and gift bags! The gift bags of candies are nice to have because you can give them to your family, but they are also nice to have to give something small and inexpensive to give to your friends that you don't exchange gifts with, or for those awkward occasions when someone surprises you with a gift and you didn't get anything for them.

I'd like to share my Rum Ball recipe with you. I found it a few years ago online. My only complaint is that they aren't as formed as I would like and they are really sticky when you make them. I discovered that it helps to roll the balls as directed and coat them with sugar, but then let them sit a few minutes and then dip the balls back into sugar and re-roll them into a more round shape and freeze immediately, but they still tend to go flat and stay a little gooey.

Rum Balls
1 small package (8.5 oz.) Oreo cookies
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup finely chopped nuts (optional - I leave 'em out)
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (sweetened cocoa is fine, too)
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1/3 cup rum (don't use more!)
granulated sugar

Put whole cookies in food processor and whiz until finely crushed. In medium bowl, combine crumbs, powdered sugar, nuts, and cocoa. Blend in corn syrup and rum. Wet hands and shape mixture into one-inch balls; roll in granulated sugar. Store covered, in a cool place.

I quadrupled the recipe this year using two regular sized (16.6 oz) packages of Oreos.


Mama Z said...

Love the ideas on the bags! I'm getting ready to host a chocolate Candy making party and I'll have to show everyone your blog post!

diane said...

Thanks for the goody tin you gave us last night - everything is delicious!