‘Tis the season.
I admit that I’ve been feeling frazzled lately. I’m not entirely sure why, but since coming home from Disney last Tuesday night I’ve just been running from one end to the other and am finally looking ahead with a bit more of a settled attitude. It’s time to tuck in and really enjoy the season and that, I intend to do.
I had a bit of a jump start this weekend, and some friends (pictured below, Ham, Donut and Vanilla) and I went into Detroit to ice skate downtown amongst the lights, and it was pretty magical. The lights glistened just right with a touch of snow sticking around, and I ended the night with no broken bones to boot.
Saturday, I also went to Wassail’s Dickensian Christmas party, and was charged with bringing the sugar plums. I know we’ve all heard the old Christmas tale, but do you know what a sugar plum actually is? For some background, see here. I had no idea, but this recipe that I am sharing from Nourished Kitchen paints a very different reality than what I had dancing around my head. These little balls of dried fruit and nuts remind me a bit of a Luna bar and should you venture to make them, be likely one of the healthier things on your holiday dessert table.
BUT! Do note that this prep, while easy, requires an overnight. The walnuts get a nice soak, so don’t make the mistake that I almost made by starting to throw these together mere hours before the party. I would suggest giving them a second roll in the cane sugar just before serving for that bit of extra sparkle and shine.
So pretty, yah?
And so fast! Leave cookie decorating tediousness to others at your office cookie swap.
Now, to eggnog.
- 1 cup shelled walnuts or walnut pieces
- ½ tsp unrefined sea salt
- zest of 1 orange, about 1 TB
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp coriander
- 1 cup chopped pitted dates
- ½ chopped apricots
- ½ cup chopped pitted prunes
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- Place the walnuts into a mixing bowl with one-half teaspoon unrefined sea salt and add warm water to cover by two inches. Cover and soak the nuts overnight, or between eight and twelve hours.
- When the nuts are done soaking, drain them rinse them well. Pat them dry with paper towels.
- To the bowl of a food processor, add the nuts orange zest, spices (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, coriander), dates, apricots and prunes.
- Pulse the mixture five to six times to combine, then process the dried fruit, walnuts and spices until a paste forms – about four or five minutes. You may need to stop the bowl every so often to scrape the sides down and distribute the mixture.
- Transfer the paste to a mixing bowl and form the sugar plums by rolling about one tablespoon of the paste in the palms of your hands until a round ball forms (I used my cookie scoop and then divided each ball from there in half). Dredge the sugar plum in powdered unrefined cane sugar. Store in an airtight covered container.
- For extra glisten, re-roll right before plating/serving.