Gluten Free Brownie Rum Balls

Saturday, December 12, 2009

While I was growing up, my mom used to always make rum balls. Every holiday season, there they would be, in all of their cake-like glory, coated in a fluffy white powder, and forbidden to little girls like me. What were these things, I would wonder.

One year, at which age I'm not sure, my mom finally let me try one. She said that I wouldn't like it, and that I could only have just the one, no more than that. I remember the position on the couch I was sitting in, with my legs tucked underneath me, and the squeaking sound that the frame made when I bounced up and down with anticipation. And even though this was probably 15 years ago, I still remember exactly how it tasted.

I haven't had another one since. Not because I didn't like it, I did, just because- well I don't think another one has ever been offered to me. Even if one had been pushed my way, I don't think it would be the same. It wouldn't hold the same mystery as the rum balls made by my mom.

Well this year, my mom is coming down from Washington state, to spend the holiday season here with her grand babies (she'll be here in less than 2 weeks!). Something that I'm going to present to her in a beautiful tin on Christmas Day, is a beautiful batch of rum balls, made in her honor.

I decided a few days ago that I was going to try making them. I looked up recipes, hoping to figure out how I could adapt them to be gluten free, wondering what I would need to do in order to make them taste right, asking myself if I had the right kind of rum on hand (because there is no way I'm about to make a run to the liquor store). How do you make a rum ball, anyways?

Here is what I came up with. The easiest, most delicious, throat burning gluten free brownie rum balls, that will you ever make...

Gluten Free Brownie Rum Balls:

You will need:
-2 boxes Betty Crocker GF Brownie Mix (if you haven't tried the gf betty crocker mixes, you're missing out. They're great go-to mixes to have on hand)
-4 eggs
-1/2 cup butter or margarine
-1/4 cup rum (I used plain ol' light Bacardi)
-1/4 cup Kahlua
-1/4 cup powdered sugar
-2 tablespoons cocoa

How you make them:
-Line an 11x7 pan with aluminum foil or wax paper.
-Preheat the oven to 350.
-Mix sugar and cocoa in a small bowl, set aside (you can do this much later, when you're getting ready to roll your balls).
-Mix brownie mix with melted butter and eggs.
-Pour brownie mix into lined baking pan.
-Bake until done, doubling the time on the box. These don't need to look pretty, they're going to be crumbled when finished. You want them to be crispy, not moist.
-After brownies are finished and completely cooled (I made my brownies the day before I made the rum balls), crumbled the brownies up in a food processor or blender (vita mix!).
-Once crumbled, pour in the alcohol. Stir.

*Now this next part might vary, depending on the outcome of your brownie. If your crumbs were fine, you might not need to do this, but if your crumbs were kind of clumpy and crispy, then here is where you'll put yourself to work.

-Take small amounts of your crumb/rum mixture, and put it back into your food processor. I did this with about 1/2 cup at a time. Pulse until its completely remixed. You want it to go back into having a sticky consistency. If your dough is too wet, add a little cocoa, add a little powder sugar, add a little flour- make it thicker (easier said than done, haha).
-Roll a few balls at a time, while they're still nice and wet, in the palms of your hands, and then immediately in the sugar/cocoa mixture. Set the balls on a wax paper lined baking sheet (we're not baking them again, this is just a nice place for them to rest while they harden).
-Repeat the last couple of steps until all of your crumbs have been turned into delicious rum balls.

When my husband came home from work and saw the tupperwares stacked in the freezer marked "off limits", he asked me if I'd be making more for us to have (I had given him 3 to sample while he was home on his lunch). Since those ones are for friends and family, and they were pretty easy to make (time consuming, but easy), I think yes, I'll make another large batch this weekend.

*Edit. Since posting this, I've given away a batch to a good friend, who had never actually had a rum ball. And while she only ate one in front of me (we were somewhat occupied with seeing Santa and whatnot), she did make a comment about hiding them in the deep freezer at her house so that nobody else would get into them. I'll assumed that means they were good, hee hee.



ElegantSnobbery December 12, 2009 at 10:19 AM  

Oh man, this brought back major memories of when I'd sneak the rum balls as a little girl. I can still taste them now! My brother and I got into everything we weren't supposed to, so family parties were usually spent in trouble for sneaking cigars, rum balls, and the chocolate liqueurs!!

Nen December 12, 2009 at 1:23 PM  

I've never heard of a rum ball.. but they look really good! almost like a glorified donut-hole.

soul_searching_mama December 12, 2009 at 2:39 PM  

I have to admit, I don't like the taste of rum balls, which doesn't surprise me since I have yet to find any type of alcohol that doesn't make me want to vomit when I taste it. Sadly, I feel like I'm missing out. Your rum balls DO look tasty though, and I'm sure your mom will be thrilled that you went to all the effort to make them for her!! :) Oh, and I LOVE your Santa platter too!

Fern December 12, 2009 at 7:21 PM  

These look SO delicious!!!! YUM! :)

Johanna December 12, 2009 at 7:42 PM  

I love the mystery and magic surrounding your rum ball story. Your new recipe sounds delish!

Giggly December 12, 2009 at 9:42 PM  

They look really delicious! Sadly, I remember the first time I tasted them, I was 15, that was 16 years ago! I remember spitting it out. They looked so scrumptious though!! I am not an alcohol drinker either, I never got used to the taste of any alcohol, thank goodness. :) I bet if I did, I would love these! lol

BTW, Thanks for the lovely X-Mas card! XOXOXOX

Anonymous,  December 13, 2009 at 3:34 PM  

Oh my Gosh Tia! Just the other day I was thinking about all the time you and I had spent together and how during the Christmas parties down the street at my Uncle's house I would come down to vist you and your family... remembering the time your mom let us try a rum ball... "very drunk" rum balls she called them that year. WOW they were tasty! We had some fun times, Tia... and I promise, one of these days Im gonna post a flashback Friday with pictures of you and I.

Betsy December 13, 2009 at 5:52 PM  

Girl, you rule! These look and sound fantastic!!!

Kristen December 24, 2009 at 12:36 PM  

Hey, this is my first attempt at baking anything gluten-free, and they turned out great! My bf and his friend both said they were delicious. Since my baking skills generally run from bad to pathetic, I'm really impressed. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I'm going officially gluten-free at the start of the year and I appreciate the gluten-free community sharing so much online!! Happy Holidays!!

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