now that I have discovered the difference of the of the USA/Canada version of the coconut and cookies compared to those available in New Zealand/Australia, the success or failure of either's recipes when the wrong substitution is used becomes crystal clear. I have a blog post on this in more detail and with photos of the various products ( dated 12th September 2009) and the link to my blog is on the bottom of my About Me page if you want all the information. When I first joined Zaar I looked up Rum Balls, saw how many there were, and didn't bother to post, but now I see that my recipe is different to all the rest in that it doesn't contain condensed milk, and does contain butter, walnuts and sultanas. I got this recipe from the Childrens Corner page of a very old copy of the "Star" newspaper, Christchurch New Zealand... in a late 70's or early 1980's issue. I have lost count the number of times I have made this over the years. Use either Rum or Rum essence, but do be aware that many Rum essences do contain alcohol (I only realised that one day when I needed to check it for someone who doesn't want alcohol for religous reasons) The Plain biscuits (cookies) are called "Vanilla Wine, or Superwine or Milk Arrowroots" in New Zealand, and "Maria" biscuits in The Netherlands. ZWT REGION: New Zealand.
- 8 -10 plain sweet biscuits (cookies, crushed finely)
- 100 g butter (4 oz, melted)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 3⁄4 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1⁄2 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 tablespoon rum (or Rum essence)
- 1⁄4 cup chopped walnuts (chopped finely)
- 1⁄4 cup sultana (chopped finely)
- coconut (for rolling)
- Crush the plain cookies by hand or in a food processor, then tip into a mixing bowl.
- Chop the nuts and sultanas by hand or place them both into the food processor together and pulse until chopped. (If you do the sultanas alone they will just fly around the sides of the bowl and not get near the blade).
- Add sultanas, nuts, butter, cocoa, icing sugar, coconut, Rum to the mixing bowl, and mix well.
- If the mixture is too wet, add a little more cookie crumbs (this can happen sometimes if the crumbs are processed too finely).
- Roll into small balls, and roll these immediately into the extra coconut to coat.
- The balls will be quite soft when made but will firm up once refrigerated for a little while.
Deliciously buttery and rich. I used 20 vanilla wafers as the American equivalent of plain, sweet biscuits. Its possible that shortbread cookies would have been a closer match though. I found that though they needed to harden in the fridge they tasted better at room temperature. And the rum flavor, which is rather mild, developed and improved over the next few days so I'd suggest making them several days before they were needed. I might use more rum another time because I like a more intense flavor. However, my DD, who hates rum balls, absolutely loved these as they are. So maybe not.
I made these for Christmas this year. I doubled the rum for stronger flavor than followed the recipe exactly but was bit disappointing as they didn't have much flavor for us and were dry maybe due too much cookies? The mixture was very crumbly.
these were DELICIOUS! thanks