This is the best recipe for Homemade Holiday Rum Balls, possibly ever! I love everything about these sweet and delicious rum-soaked cookie balls, right down to the endless decorating possibilities. You’re sure to be making, eating, and gifting these sweet truffles all season long!
There’s something about rum balls that’s just so special – they’re like a little reminder every year that the holidays are here! This is my favorite easy recipe for simple and beautiful holiday rum balls. These sweet no-bake cookie balls are made with crispy vanilla wafer cookies and chopped pecans, flavored with a generous shot of rum and honey. They’re perfect for rolling and coating in cocoa or powdered sugar, and decorating any way you’d like!
I just know you’ll be enjoying many variations of these sweet treats at all your upcoming holiday parties, from Christmas to New Year’s! Rum balls also make a tasty and festive gift for wrapping up and sharing with family and friends.
What You’ll Need
There are only 5 ingredients and a single bowl needed to make these rum balls! If you’re going to be gifting them, it’s also handy to have some small paper candy cups on hand to protect the powdered balls.
Here’s the short list of ingredients:
Vanilla Wafer Cookies: 1 whole box, finely crushed. You can also use chocolate wafer cookies if you prefer.
Pecans: Finely chopped for these bite-sized cookies. You could also use walnuts!
Powdered Sugar: Fine powdered sugar will bind everything together and give these cookies a smooth texture. Also good for rolling the balls in afterwards!
Rum: I like to use a dark spiced rum for this recipe due to its rich depth of flavor. However you can use light or dark rum if you’d prefer! Or mix it up and use a different kind of liquor! Bourbon would make great Bourbon Balls!
Honey: Naturally sweetens these rum balls and helps to hold the ingredients together. You could also use light corn syrup as well.
Do Rum Balls Contain Alcohol?
Yes! As the name would suggest, rum is added to the mixture. And since this is a no-bake recipe, the alcohol won’t cook off – however, the amount of rum in this rum balls recipe is minimal enough that the individual cookie balls aren’t overly boozy but you can indeed taste the rum!
HOWEVER – You can omit the rum in the recipe and sub in rum extract. Just add a teaspoon (or more to achieve the desired flavor). And use 1/4 cup of water in the place of the rum in the recipe!
How to Make Rum Balls
They are so simple to make, but pack loads of sweet, rum-infused flavor and crunchy cookie texture. They come together in a few easy steps:
Combine the Dry Ingredients: First you’ll stir together the crushed vanilla wafers, chopped pecans, and powdered sugar into an even mixture in a large bowl.
Add in the Wet Ingredients: Next, in go the rum and honey. Give it a mix to get everything combined, then use your hands to knead the rum balls mixture into a thick dough.
Roll Out the Balls: Roll the mixture into balls about a tablespoon in size. This will end up being about a 1-inch ball. Then place them on a large enough plate or baking sheet.
Coat: If you’d like, you can roll the rum balls in a coating of powdered sugar or cocoa powder. See my tips for success below if you’ll be coating these in sprinkles!
That’s it! You are ready to gift or enjoy at your next holiday gathering, from Christmas parties to potlucks. Gifting is easy using small candy cups or mini cupcake liners!
How To Make Them Pretty:
Over and above powdered sugar and festive sprinkles, you can roll rum balls in a variety of toppings! Get decorating with these suggestions:
Desiccated Coconut or toasted coconut
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Crushed nuts (pecans, hazelnuts, peanuts)
Tips for Success
If you’re coating the finished balls with sprinkles: It helps to dampen your hand with a little bit of water before you roll the mixture into balls; this way the sprinkles will stick more easily to the balls when decorating.
Use a cookie scoop! Measuring out the mixture for the rum balls is easy and quick using a cookie scoop.
Use a food processor: A food processor or blender is super handy when crushing and chopping the cookies and pecans. Just pulse it until the cookies are a fine crumb. You can use a rolling pin if that’s what you have on hand as well.
If you notice the mixture is too dry: The cookie crumbs can make these a little dry, but it’s an easy fix! Go on and give it another splash of rum. Otherwise, if you find it’s too runny, add a bit more powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency. You’ll know you have it right when the mixture holds together easily when squeezed!
How Long Do Rum Balls Stay Good For?
Rum balls will stay fresh enough when stored in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 7 days. You can also freeze these in an airtight, freezer-safe container or resealable bag for up to a month.
To freeze, place the balls on a baking sheet and allow them to pre-freeze until solid. Then transfer the balls to a container for storage. Thaw frozen rum balls overnight in the fridge before serving.
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