Every Christmas, my Grandma Cay made Rum Balls. My brother, cousins, and I LOVED them. It might have been the chocolate, but more likely it was because they contained rum—”forbidden” for us kids. The taste sent me right back to Christmas at Grandma Cay’s. And yep! You can taste the rum!
Rum Balls get their name from the addition of ⅓ cup of rum. I used Bacardi White Rum—a $10 bottle that I found at Target. You can definitely taste the rum, so I wouldn’t go with a super cheap variety.
They’re also no-bake. That’s a big plus when there’s a lot of Christmas cooking/baking going on!
They start with a mixture of semi-sweet chocolate chips, sugar, rum, and corn syrup. Vanilla wafers and walnuts bind the batter into balls. I used my food processor to both crush the wafers and finely chop the walnuts.
They’re also extremely quick to make—the longest step is chilling them for 30 minutes and then rolling them all into balls! The final step is to roll the balls in granulated sugar.
Grandma Cay made Rum Balls every Christmas. The minute I popped one into my mouth, I was transported to Grandma leaning down to hold a tin of Rum Balls at our eye level. She passed away in June of this year, when we celebrated her life and homecoming to heaven.
Her memory lives on in our hearts and through her recipes. My Papa Ben, her husband, gifted me her black recipe book this summer, where I discovered this recipe.
This season, I’m sharing SIX of my grandmothers’ Christmas cookie recipes—three from my dad’s mom and three from my mom’s mom. Check back for more recipes throughout the month. I hope you enjoy them as much as our family has throughout the years!
Grandma's Rum Balls
Yield 42 cookies
- 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup rum
- 3 tablespoons corn syrup (light or dark)
- 2 cups (about 50) crushed vanilla wafers
- 1 cup walnuts, very finely chopped
- Granulated sugar for rolling
- Place the chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted.
- Stir in the sugar, rum, and corn syrup. Fold in the vanilla wafers and nuts. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar.
- Store in an airtight container.
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