I love Sugar Plums! Even though they don’t seem to be popular at my holiday gatherings, I will stand by them. It is a nice holiday alternative to the richness and sweetness of other holiday treats; essentially these are made of dried fruits, nuts, and spices. How healthy is that? Sure it’s rolled in sugar, but that’s beside the point. Now often times we associate sugar plums with Christmas (e.g. — “visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads” and “the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”), but that’s not necessarily the case. The Food Timeline website offers a little bit of information on the history of Sugar Plums, in addition to some other traditional Christmas fare.
This recipe was taken from Alton Brown’s Good Eats program; and the link is nice because there is also a video available. Here’s what you need:
- 6 ounces slivered almonds, toasted
- 4 ounces dried plums
- 4 ounces dried apricots
- 4 ounces dried figs
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon anise seeds, toasted
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted
- 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup coarse sugar
1. Coarsely chop the nuts in the bowl of a food processor. Add the plums, apricots, and figs. Pulse about 20 – 25 times until coarsely chopped, but before the mixture forms into a ball.
2. Combine the powdered sugar, anise seeds, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, cardamom, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add the nut and fruit mixture and the honey and mix using gloved hands until well combined.
3. Scoop the mixture into 1/4-ounce portions and roll into balls. If serving immediately, roll in the coarse sugar and serve. If not serving immediately, put the balls on a cooling rack and leave uncovered until ready to serve. Roll in the coarse sugar prior to serving.
Notes — The sugar plums may be stored on the cooling rack for up to a week. After a week, store in an airtight container for up to a month. . . I didn’t have almonds so I just used some walnuts as a substitute. . . I’m sure you could substitute any number of dried fruits. . . maybe add just a touch of booze? but I’m always trying to add a touch of booze to everything.