Whether dipped in chocolate or coated in powdered sugar, these Christmas cookies are one of my favorite. At its heart, this recipe is a short dough, meaning that it has no leavening. Unlike traditional shortbread, the cookie has a satisfying, crumbly, toothy texture thanks to rolled oats.
Incidentally, they have an exceptional shelf life and are perfect for making with children. Kids love molding and dipping them.
This is yet another delicious recipe passed down by my great grandmother Lucy. As a very small child, I made them with my mother and grandmother, but there were two key differences to this recipe: 1) there was no rum in the recipe; 2) there were only made round and dipped in chocolate.
When my husband and I started mixing our holiday traditions, the recipe went through a minor evolution. He thought they would be delicious rolled in powdered sugar and that the flavor was very close to his godmother’s sister’s rum balls. So, out with the vanilla and in with the rum. Also now I do half as chocolate-dipped and the other half powdered-sugar coated.
Also, there’s no rule that says you must only make round cookies. Try several hand-formed shapes, like crescents, cubes, disks, stars, pretzels and whatever else you can think of. Chefy tip: Avoid over working the dough during mixing and forming.
Cookie Candies or Rum Balls Recipe
Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies
- 1 c Butter
- ¾ c Powdered Cane Sugar
- 1oz Dark Rum (you may sub vanilla or other extract)
- 1 c Uncooked Rolled Oats (not quick oats or steel cut oats)
- 2 c Flour, sifted
- A Few Cups Powdered Sugar in a Tub
- 2 c Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips + ¼ c Milk
1) Let the butter come to room temperature. Rub the butter with the back of a sturdy spoon until it is soft.
2) Then sift the sugar into the butter and run them together. (Avoid whipping or beating as that will alter the texture.)
2) Rub in the rum and oats.
3) Finally, sift the flour, then add it all at once and rub and fold in into the buttery mix.
4) Shape into balls, cubes and crescents about 1-inch large.
5) Bake at 400 degrees F for 8-12 minutes, or until the cookies move when nudged gently.
6) While still warm, roll in powdered sugar at least three times. Or, allow to cool, and then dip in chocolate.
7) Melting the chocolate: Over a simmering water bath or very low heat, warm and stir together the chocolate chips and milk.
If you’d like to see how to make this rum ball cookie recipe, go to Hot Kitchen and tune in at 1:00 and 12:20 to watch my demonstration.