Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Ring in the new year with gluten-free rum balls! The extra dark Theo chocolate in these makes them a perfect addition to a party table—they’re rich, decadent, and just strong enough. Recently, I made a new variation of these by grinding up gluten-free Gingersnaps from Trader Joe’s. That added a nice spicy undercurrent that paired well with the chocolate and rum. I’ve also included my recipe for gluten-free vanilla wafers, but really any dry gluten-free cookie will do the trick.

Have a fun and rummy New Year’s!

Rum Balls

Rum Balls (GF, DF)
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen

1.5 – 2oz Theo chocolate (74% Madagascar is best)
1 cup powdered sugar
28-30 vanilla wafers
3/4 cup blanched, toasted almonds
3 Tbls light corn syrup
2-4 Tbls dark rum, more as desired

In a food processor, grid together chocolate and powdered sugar until well-blended and chocolate is no longer in identifiable pieces. Add vanilla wafers and almonds, grinding until mixture seems like semi-fine crumbs.

Mix in corn syrup and rum until it holds together, but is not too wet or dry. Mixture should hold together in a ball when formed, but should not require a lot of pressing for it to hold together. Neither should the mixture be so wet that it is sticky or goopy. Add more rum if it is too dry; add more powdered sugar, almonds, or vanilla wafers if it is too wet.

Form mixture into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar to coat. (If powdered sugar melts quickly into the balls, your mixture is too wet.) If you are making both strong rum balls and light rum balls, roll the light in powdered sugar and the strong in cocoa powder. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store in sealed container in refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks.

Note: If you are making the vanilla wafers fresh for your rum balls, be sure to allow them to cool thoroughly before grinding to crumbs. If they are hot, they will melt the chocolate and ruin the consistency.

Vanilla Wafers (GF, DF)
Makes about 5 dozen

1/2 cup DF butter, softened
1 cup white sugar (vanilla sugar if available)
1 egg
1 Tbls vanilla extract
3/4 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flours, baking powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Space them about 2 inches apart, as they will grow a bit.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 minutes or until edges are just golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in sealed bags in freezer for up to 8 months.

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