“While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads …” Sugarplums are a vintage Christmas candy that you can easily make! Today’s sugarplums are dried fruits and nuts rolled in sugar. They make a whimsical treat for the holidays!
The original sugar plums referenced in Clement Clark Moore’s poem, “ ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and The Nutcracker were simply coriander seeds surrounded by hardened sugar in an oval (plum) shape. Today, they tend to be a dried fruit, nut, and spice mixture rolled in coarse sugar. Our recipe includes dried plums, or prunes, in the list of ingredients.
Without the sugar the taste actually reminds us of modern-day healthy energy bites. Roll them in granulated sugar for a pretty and festive presentation!
Tips: When forming into balls, wet your hands a bit to prevent sticking. Do not overprocess it into a sticky paste.
Variations: If you wish, substitute different dried fruits, nuts, and preserve. If you’d like, add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a dash of ground cloves for spice. For a more adult version, add a spoonful of brandy.
Bonus: These little sugarplums are a nice little treat for those looking for a non-dairy cookie alternative.
Using a food processor, grind the fruit and nuts and mix well. Pulse the mixture a few times.
Add the cherry preserves and pulse several more times until the mixture begins to come together. You want to retain the coarse texture. Do not overprocess or it will be a sticky paste.
When you squeeze the mixture between your fingers, it should form a ball.
Work into the mixture as much confectioners’ sugar as it takes to roll 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar, then place on a rack to dry for 24 hours.
The sugar may absorb over time, so you may need to roll once more in sugar before serving.
These treats will last up to a month, if stored properly in an airtight container; place waxed or parchment paper between the layers so they don’t stick together.
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