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Old 12-24-2018, 04:11 AM
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lisarea lisarea is offline
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Default Sugarplums

The sugarplums came out really good this year, so I am going to document what I did right here, for future reference. I make a lot, because you want enough for your own household, but also, people really like it if you give them sugarplums around the holidays. They're like a special magical thing that everyone has heard of but most people don't know what it is.

(I know sugarplums are pretty much any type of candy, but this is the general type that's come to be identified as 'sugarplums,' and they meet people's expectations of what they should be like.)

Enough Sugarplums to Share

4 cups toasted walnuts
1/2 to 2/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Tiny dash of salt
Zest of 1 orange
2 cups pitted prunes
2/3 cup dried apricots
2/3 cut pitted dates
2/3 cup dried figs
coarse sugar with purple, red, and/or blue food coloring
powdered sugar

Combine spices. Mix and blend all ingredients except sugars in food processor, in batches. Adjust to taste, then combine all in a bowl and mix the batches together for consistency. (If you have a giant food processor, you don't have to worry about batches.)

Roll into balls. I make substantial sized ones--up to a full inch in diameter, because I am lazy and that seems about the size that most people want at a time. These are coated in sugar, so the larger the balls, the sweeter you'll want your mixture to be because they have a smaller relative surface area for the sugar to accommodate.

Coat in the colored sugar, then let sit on parchment paper or something for several hours to overnight. When set, dust with powdered sugar. (I did it the other way around this year--rolled in powdered sugar, left to sit, then rolled in the colored sugar, but the colored sugar did not stick well, so this is how I'm doing it next time.)

It is IMPORTANT to coat them in some decorative sugar, because the bare sugarplums look a whole lot like the balls that dung beetles roll, plus they're a little sticky.

When I'm giving them to people, I like to wrap them in little triangles of tissue paper because it looks less like a jar of turds, and the sugar doesn't immediately fall off and collect at the bottom of the jar.

Note: You can substitute all or part of the walnuts with almonds, and the fruits with any combination of dried fruits you prefer, as long as the nuts and fruits are in about equal proportions. And you have to use plenty of prunes, because prunes are dried plums and to do otherwise would make you a liar.

Last edited by lisarea; 12-24-2018 at 04:29 AM.
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