Day 5: Sugarplums!

*This post marks Day 5 of Miss Ginsu’s 2007 Advent Calendar.

Two years ago, I wrote about sugarplums. Oh, how time flies when you’re busy food blogging…

It’s the right time of year again, and it seems proper that we attempt to introduce a new generation of kids to one of those things they keep hearing about in holiday Christmas carols and are unlikely to have ever actually tried. (Figgy pudding and chestnuts roasting over an open fire will have to wait patiently at the sidelines for another post.)

In that spirit, I’m reprinting the recipe below. They’re exceedingly easy to make, and seeing as they’re chock-full of dried fruit and nuts, sugarplums are probably one of the healthier holiday sweets available.

Sugarplums! (Makes about 20)

Chopping the almonds and fruits ahead of time won’t be necessary if you have a food processor. These treats keep well in a tin or a pretty box lined with parchment or wax paper and they make a nice gift. They could last up to a month, but you shouldn’t need to find out, since they’re tasty snacks and tend to disappear.

1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
6 oz dried figs (or dried prunes), roughly chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2-3/4 cup turbanado/raw sugar, for rolling

  1. Combine toasted almonds, chopped fruits, cinnamon, cocoa and almonds in a food processor or mash with a mortar and pestle.

  2. Mix until blended and paste-like. Add the honey, orange zest and extract. Pulse or stir until well mixed.

  3. Pour the raw sugar in a small bowl (cereal bowls and soup dishes work well).

  4. Scoop out teaspoons of the fig paste and roll in your hands to form 1-inch balls. Roll balls in sugar.

Cheers! Miss Ginsu

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