06 December, 2009

Sugar Plums (Fruit And Nut Balls)


These lovely little balls almost look too good to be healthy and delicious, don't they? They are pure energy balls made solely out of various dried fruits and nuts. No baking or cooking involved. You just have to decide which dried fruits or nuts you fancy, roll them in your favorite topping and put them in the fridge for a couple of hours and they will be ready to eat. No more to this than that.
You can certainly spice them up or give them a little Christmas flavor by adding some spices or alcohol. I can promise you they will be a popular dessert on any Christmas gathering. And even beyond that (as I don't feel very Christmassy yet), they are a good sweet treat to keep in the fridge, if you have any sugar cravings or need a bit of instant energy and don't want to behead a big chocolate Santa.......
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SUGAR PLUMS (FRUIT AND NUT BALLS)

1/4 cup almonds, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup dried dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried prunes, pitted and chopped
hot water
2 teaspoons brandy, orange liqueur or orange juice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)

Topping
sesame seeds
desiccated unsweetened coconut
cocoa powder

Makes ca. 20
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Preheat oven to 180C. Toast chopped nuts for about 8-10 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool a little. 

Soak the raisins in hot water for about 15 minutes, or until plump. Drain.

Combine raisins, nuts and all other ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until finely minced. Add some water or orange juice (by the tablespoon) if the batter does not hold together.
Shape little balls of about 1 inch diameter out of that mixture. Press the dough so the ingredients hold together. Roll each ball in the desired topping. Place the balls in small muffin liners. Let the balls air-dry in the refrigerator for about 1-2 hours, or until they are no longer sticky.
Serve them cold (from the fridge or at room temperature). Store in airtight container between wax paper or in mini muffin liners.

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