Saturday, December 16

Christmas Memories and Favorite Recipes by @JanaRichards_

I don't have a picture of my rum balls. These are called Pearls and Chocolate
The season for baking has begun! Like many people, some of my happiest Christmas memories revolve around food, especially sweet treats only made at Christmas.

My grandmother used to make strudel at Christmas. I remember her stretching the dough over her dining room table until it was paper thin. Then she'd dot the dough with butter, apple slices, raisins, and cinnamon. There may have been other spices but if there was, I don't remember. The dough was rolled up jelly roll style, and since it was so big, it usually required Granny, my mom and several of my aunts to roll it up. Once a gigantic roll, Granny would cut the strudel into pieces and distribute it to the family. I can tell you there was nothing that smelled more divine than Granny's strudel baking in the oven. And nothing tasted more delicious. It was flaky and fruity and buttery. Although I have fond memories of Granny's strudel, that's all I have. When she died, the recipe died with her. I don't remember my mother or my aunts ever making the strudel on their own. I wish I would have asked her for the recipe. I doubt I would have been very successful making it, but at least I'd have the recipe for posterity.

Can Stock Photo 23550484
One Christmas treat I do have the recipe for is rum balls. It's become one of my favorites. The first year I made them, I misread the recipe and added substantially more rum. Best rum balls ever! Here's the "correct" recipe:

Rum Balls
1 cup (250 ml.) icing sugar
1 cup (250 ml.) ground almonds
3 oz. (85 grams) bittersweet chocolate, grated
1/3 cup (75 ml.) dark rum
1 tsp. (5 ml.) vanilla
½ (125 ml.) chocolate sprinkles

Line trays with waxed paper; set aside.

In large bowl, whisk icing sugar, almonds and bittersweet chocolate. Stir in ¼ cup (50 ml.) of the rum and vanilla until solid moist mass forms; press together. Chill until firm enough to roll, about 15 minutes.

Roll by rounded teaspoonfuls (5 ml.) into balls, moistening and wiping hands with damp cloth as needed. Place on prepared trays.

Pour remaining rum into shallow bowl. Pour chocolate sprinkles into separate shallow bowl. Roll balls in rum then in chocolate, pressing lightly to adhere. Let dray on tray, 1 hour. Refrigerate until firm. Can freeze for up to 1 month.

Since we love our readers so much, we're doing a giveaway this week. Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win one of our lovely prizes. I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Our contest is now over and we've picked the winners! Here they are:

E-book set Women of Willow Bay by Nan Reinhardt – Amanda Futcher 

Kindle version of The Lake House by Ava Cuvay – Heather B. 

1 ecopy of any book from Kristina Knight’s backlist – Glynis Evans 

1 ecopy of any book from Liz Flaherty’s backlist plus Christmas Ornament – Debra Guyette 

2 Tile coaster from Margie Senechal – Liz Flaherty 

1 ecopy of any book from Jana Richards’ backlist – Heather B 

Thanks to everyone who entered!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. These look wonderful! I remember a rum cake my mother-in-law used to make. It certainly is a nice additive!

    1. I don't care for rum to drink, but I do love it in cakes and cookies. These are delish!

  2. Sounds yummy Jana, I've never had this type of cookie. Happy Holidays!

    1. I can definitely vouch for these rum balls. They're really good! Happy Holidays to you to!