My sister and I were debating the merits of holiday Eccles Cakes vs. Mince Pies last weekend. I voted for the mince, since they’re easier to make. Each year, Christmas cheer comes hesitantly for me. When I tear off the second to last page on the calendar, I dread the work that lies ahead over the next 24 days. 2019 was a snap; we packed our bags on the 15th and headed to London, not returning until the holiday rush and festivities were over. This year, I was even undecided about exchanging gifts with the family. Then, perhaps with the help of some holiday magic (or spiked eggnog), my mood began to change. In the first few days of December, I agreed to the gifts and the hosting (I’m the only one who can). By mid-month, my Christmas spirit was beginning to stir. We trekked to Santiago Canyon to select our freshly-cut tree (no parking-lot version for us!), sang carols as we decorated, and drove about town to four different stores looking for lights (My new pro tip: Not Target; your neighborhood Walgreens). As I write this, I’ve devoured two panettone, baked mince pies and panforte, and have my recipes ready for Christmas morning stollen, Christmas Eve dinner, and mulled wine. I’ve also volunteered to assemble luminaries to decorate our street on Christmas Eve and, last weekend, drove through the neighborhoods looking at holiday lights. My house smells of pine and crackling logs (I ALMOST spent $30 for 4 Irish peat briquettes). I’ve watched A Christmas Carol (although not my favorite version with George C. Scott) and invited some friends (within my bubble) for Christmas Day ham. Today’s to-do list includes a trip to the butchers (not for a goose, Mrs. Cratchet, but a boneless lamb roast), gift wrapping, and these easy Ginger Pecan Rum Balls. With less than one week to go, I’ve found my holiday spirit after all, as I always do. So, Happy Holiday from my (hesitant) house to yours.
Ginger Pecan Rum Balls
Easy spicy ginger holiday treats spiked with a good dose of dark rum. Feel free to play with the ingredients – different crumbs, nuts, or spirits can provide an array of flavors.
- 1 ½ cups ginger snap crumbs
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- ½ cup powdered sugar, plus more for coating
- 3 Tablespoons dark rum
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until pecans are finely ground and dough forms into a ball.
- Roll dough into small balls (about 13-15 grams each) and roll in powdered sugar
- Store in an airtight container. Let sit for at least one day to allow flavors to meld; they will get more flavorful with each day.