This is my first experience with sugar plums (but it certainly will not be my last). Actually, I never really knew they were a real recipe until this year. And, now that I've tried them, I can see why the sleeping children had visions of them dancing in the heads as the slept on Christmas Eve. Sugar plums contain various dried fruits and spices along with nuts. There appear to be numerous recipes out there, each one utilizing some different nuts, fruits, and spices. The recipe I'm sharing is a combination of inspirations from both Nourished Kitchen and Alton Brown. Sugar plums invoke in me a sense of days past and make me think that they would have been something my great-grandmother may have enjoyed. They smell of Christmas and taste of it, too. I think these are best made while listening to Bing Crosby or Perry Como - something relatively old-fashioned, soft, and relaxing.
If you are looking for one more Christmas treat, give these a try. They are pretty simple to make and you don't have to turn on your oven either. They will make a perfect snack or gift. Plus, they are full of pretty healthy stuff! This recipe will make approximately 30 sugar plums. I think next time I'll add some figs, too.
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
1 cup pitted and chopped dates
1/2 cup pitted and chopped prunes
1/2 cup pitted and chopped dried unsulphured apricots
zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
pinch of fine sea salt
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup super fine/fine unbleached cane sugar
Add all of the ingredients except the cane sugar to a food processor. Pulse on high for about four to five minutes, until the ingredients are all combined and start sticking together.
Place the mixture in a bowl. Add the cane sugar to a small bowl or plate. Roll about 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture in your hands to form balls. Roll the balls lightly in the sugar. Set aside and repeat until all the mixture is used.
Eat joyously. Store in an airtight container.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
What was I cooking one year ago?: cranberry-walnut bread
Two years ago?: roasted red pepper dip