These rum balls are a good reminder to me that food is more than just fuel.
And it has nothing to do with the actual balls themselves!
In my house, there is an ongoing playful argument around the ‘correct’ name for these chocolatey coconutty balls.
I call them rum balls. My partner calls them truffles.
And it all comes down to what they were called in our houses when we were growing up.
These balls have a connection for both of us to our childhood and so neither of us will back down on our ‘argument’.
To me, truffles are fancy chocolates made with ganache that have fillings inside them…or a stinky fungus (yeah not a truffle fan!).
Do rum balls have alcohol in them?
The name does suggest that alcohol, specifically rum, is an ingredient. However, you do not have to include alcohol if that’s not your thing. In fact, I have never made rum balls with rum so the recipe below does not contain any alcohol. This makes them kid-friendly. They are fun to make with kids, just be prepared for a LOT of mess with the sticky dough and all that coconut!
If you did want to add rum, do so to your taste up to 1/4 cup. Because these are not baked, they will retain a strong alcohol taste as well as their alcohol content. So be mindful of that when consuming them, especially with alcoholic beverages during Christmas.
The original and the best recipe for rum balls (minus the rum)
- 1 packet Marie biscuits
- 395g tin sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- ½ cup desiccated coconut
- Extra desiccated coconut for rolling
- Blitz the Marie biscuits in a food processor until they resemble biscuit crumbs (they can be a bit chunky) (see note 1)
- In a bowl, add the biscuit crumbs, sweetened condensed milk, cocoa and coconut and mix really well
- Take dessertspoonfuls of the mixture and squash to form a blob. Then roll into balls using your hands
- Toss balls through the extra coconut to coat
- Chill in the fridge for an hour. Store in an airtight container in the fridge
- If you don’t have a food processor (or if you have just had a bad day), you can put the biscuits in a freezer bag and give them a bash with a rolling pin to break them up! I tend to do the smash in a bag method, just because I am too lazy to pull out and clean the food processor
- If you are in the US, the closest I have found to a Marie biscuit is a Maria Cookie
Keywords: kid friendly rum balls, rum free rum balls