If you are looking for a nice hostess gift or an tasty addition to your holiday dessert table look no further than these delicious Rum Balls. Unlike most rum ball recipes that use store-bought cookies as a base, this recipe uses a homemade, rich chocolate brownie-like cake for a base. The recipe calls for semi-sweet chocolate but I used a 60% bittersweet chocolate for a richer, less sweet chocolate flavor. To enhance the chocolate I included a teaspoon of instant espresso to the melted chocolate and to the batter I added a teaspoon of rum extract. Place the finished rum balls in individual mini cupcake papers to package up for gift giving. For best consistency, keep the rum balls chilled before serving. Here is how you can make your own:
You can find the entire recipe here. Start by lining a 12" x 17" rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. The parchment paper keeps the cake from sticking to the pan and makes clean up a breeze. Set pan aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a double boiler or a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt together the butter, and chocolate (I used 60% bittersweet chocolate and I added 1 teaspoon of espresso powder to bring out the chocolate flavor). Set melted chocolate mixture aside. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, brown sugar, vanilla extract, (i added a teaspoon of rum extract too), and salt. Stir in slightly cooled chocolate mixture and fold in flour. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with off-set spatula. Bake for around 10 minutes or until top of cake is shiny and a few crumbs come off on a toothpick. Let cake cool completely on a wire rack.
When cake is completely cooled, break into small pieces and put into the bowl of an electric mixer fitter with the paddle attachment. With machine on low speed add the rum and mix until a dough comes together. Shape dough into 1 inch balls using a #100 scoop (you can make larger balls using a #70 scoop).
Roll balls in sparkling sugar and transfer to a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Chill balls for 2 hours. Serve balls chilled or at room temperature. Store rum balls in an air tight container in refrigerator. If giving as a gift, place individual balls in mini cupcake papers and place in bag or gift box.