After baking cookies non-stop for days on end, sometimes you just need a break. However, that doesn't mean the cookie fun has to stop!
Enter today's instalment of the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies, a decadent mash-up pairs two of my festive favourites - rum balls and gingersnaps.
These super easy no-bake cookie balls mean you can get your cookie fix and get a break from baking. Now that's what I can a win-win.
This year, I want to help you get into the holiday spirit with a little something I'm calling the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies.
From December 14 to 25, I'm posting a new holiday cookie recipe each day. Did you miss one? You can catch up on my Christmas Cookies page.
A Ginger Twist on a Holiday Favourite
Traditionally, rum balls are made with either chocolate or vanilla wafers, but this recipe swaps out spicy gingersnap cookies to add a delicious molasses-and-spice flavour that's boosted with a generous splash of spiced rum.
Like most no-bake desserts, these are a cinch to make. Simply stir everything together until you have a dense dough, then shape into balls, and roll in icing sugar to coat. That's literally all there is to it. Just make sure to use a good-quality gingersnap cookie, because this is the main source of flavour in the finished balls.
The finished treats are sweet, chewy and full of intense gingersnap flavour with a boozy hint of rum.
It might be tempting to dive in right away, but the flavour and texture gets much better after aging for 2-3 days, so I would recommend making a batch right now so you can enjoy them on Christmas Day. You'll thank yourself in a few days. I promise!
A Brief History of the Rum Ball and Variations
Various versions of the rum ball can be found all over Europe. They're typically made with either crumbled-up cake or crushed cookies, chopped or ground nuts, and a generous pour of rum (or some other liqueur, such as brandy or bourbon).
While most versions include some chocolate, in the Southern US they make a variant called bourbon balls with crushed vanilla wafers, pecans and bourbon. This is what I used as the jumping-off point for my recipe, because I wanted the gingerbread flavour to shine through without any competition.
Other Variations on This Recipe
The beauty of this recipe is that as long as you stick to the basic components of cookie crumbs, nuts, and booze.
Obviously, it won't be a gingersnap ball any more if you use different cookies, but you can still swap out the nuts and booze to get a slightly different flavour.
Port wine and almonds will add a fruitcake-like flavour, while whisky and walnuts adds a hint of smokiness to balance out the spice of the gingersnaps. Other options include brandy, sherry, or even flavoured liqueurs, while just about any tree nut will do so long as it's been chopped fine.
More No-Bake Treats for the Holidays
No time? No problem. These no-bake treats may look impressive and taste amazing, but they're about as low-effort as it gets.
- Homemade Eggnog Truffles
- Dark Chocolate Amarula Balls
- 5-Minute Cookie Butter Fudge
- Candy Cane Brigadeiros
Festive no-bake treats made with crushed gingersnaps, chopped pecans and a generous splash of spiced rum. Perfect for holiday gifting!
- 2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 cup icing sugar (plus more for coating)
- 2 tbsp corn syrup
- ¼ cup spiced rum
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together the crushed cookies, pecans and icing sugar. Stir in corn syrup and bourbon, and mix until combined.
- With lightly moistened hands, shape the mixture into 1-inch balls, then roll in powdered sugar to coat. Transfer to an airtight container and chill for at least 2-3 days before serving.
Storage: Gingerbread balls can be refrigerated for up to one month in an airtight container.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Category: Desserts
- Method: No Bake
- Cuisine: Canadian