I don’t know how it happened, but the last time I posted was 6 months ago. At the time we were in the depths of winter and I was longing for summer. Now I wish I’d kept my mouth shut. Last night gifted us a delicious cool change with the works – rain, lightning, thunder. My first thoughts upon the arrival of a cool change and the promise of some mild weather – “finally I can use my oven again”.
But today I bring you some treats that require no oven, so they really are perfect when you find yourself threatened by 3 more days of stifling heat. I’m pleased to announce also that Nana’s Famous Rum Balls just got jazzy! These are as solid as the old favourites but studded with delicious apricot gems. Eating these brings back wonderful memories of sitting in Nana’s kitchen after the long drive to see her. We would always be greeted with a tray of rum balls or slice.
I must make a note about the recipe to follow. I like to think of myself as a resourceful cook (read lazy). This recipe asks for half a cup of skim milk powder. The use of this no doubt gives these rum balls an extra kick of creamy, but I wasn’t going to go to the shops to buy a 2kg bag of skim milk powder which would then guilt me from the cupboard for the next 3 years. Instead I replaced this with a little extra coconut and some flour to reach the required consistency. I do however, applaud anyone who actually follows the recipe.
You will need:
- 1 packet Marie Biscuits
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 150g chopped dried apricots (or cherries etc. get creative!)
- 3 to 5 tablespoons of rum or orange juice (3 is probably enough. . .)
- 400g can condensed milk (I used some fancy coconut condensed milk)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 1/2 cup powdered skim milk *
- Desiccated coconut or chocolate sprinkles for rolling
- Crush biscuits. Think of this as cheap therapy. (I use a big bowl with a pestle, but the internet is full of other methods. Some of these are more therapeutic than others).
- Into a large bowl add the crushed biscuits to all the other ingredients.
- As I’ve noted below I added my powdered skim milk substitutes last to achieve the texture I wanted. You don’t want an overly sticky mixture, but you still want the coconut to stick to the outside of the balls.
- Roll into small balls with damp hands if you please.
- Roll in sprinkles or coconut.
- Add a little extra orange juice or rum if the mixture becomes too dry.
- Refrigerate. (These rum balls keep for yonks in the the fridge. As I write this I’m eating one that I made almost two weeks ago).
*As mentioned above I didn’t have any skim milk. Instead I made up about 1/2 a cup with a little desiccated coconut, a touch extra cocoa and some flour. I added half of this to start with and then more slowly to make up a rollable, but slightly sticky texture. The taste was still great.