December 23, 2011

Sugar plums

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.

Sugar plums
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


  1. I never knew what a sugar plum was before your post either. They sound delicious and look pretty. Thank you for sharing. Happy Holidays!

  2. This does look healthy, festive and delicious! Thanks for introducing me to sugar plums. Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas! :)

  3. I've been so tempted to make these lately -- I love all the spices in there and yours look wonderful! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

  4. Ooh this does make me curious, may have to give them a go next year.

    Merry Christmas to you.

  5. Whoa! I had NO idea these were real things either! I thought maybe they were just candied plums?

    These look way better than that though. bite-sized spheres of deliciousness!

  6. Wow...Lovely! I love sugar plums. And yours is really devine. I will try your recipe for Chinese New year. Thanks for dropping by my blog. Happy holidays ^^

  7. I love those. A great treat!

    Happy Holidays!



  8. These are beautiful and look really delicious! Thanks for sharing this special holiday recipe.

  9. These sound like something right up my alley! We love dried fruits, and I've never had a sugar plum--but have always wanted to try some!

  10. Thanks, everyone! Happy Holidays! I hope you give these old fashioned treats a try!

  11. I have seen these pop up on a couple blogs lately! They look delicious and I hope to try them soon

  12. Woah neat!! I've never really thought about what sugar plums are. What a fun holiday treat!

  13. Looks amazing! What a great year of delicious recipes and eats.
    Happy New Year. Keep up the great work in 202.

  14. Wow, what a great healthy fake-out! I could have sworn these were doughnut holes!

  15. Had no idea how simple these would be! First thing I thought about was that little story line as well. This is definitely something to put you in a cheerful mood ;)

  16. I made these and they are wonderful! Super easy, too.


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