“visions of Sugar Plums danced in their heads” You’ve heard the poem … probably had it read to you as a kid, probably read it to your kid. Did you ever have Sugar Plums?
I have an excellent family recipe, Aunt Evie’s Sugar Plums. Aunt Evie was Mom’s oldest sister. Here it is:
Melt over hot (not boiling) water: 1 6oz. pkg. semi sweet chocolate bits. Add 3 tablespoons light corn syrup and ½ cup orange juice. Combine 2 ½ cups crushed vanilla wafers, ½ cup powdered sugar, 1 cup nuts, finely chopped. Add the semi-sweet mixture to dry mixture and mix well. Let stand 30 minutes. Form into 1 inch balls. Roll in granulated or pwd. sugar. Let ripen in covered container several days. Make 4 ½ dozen.
I made a double recipe today and they are sitting in the cupboard in plastic tubs ripening.
Of course, nobody melts chocolate chips over hot water anymore. Just put them in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir them, repeat until smooth and creamy.
I like to use the orange juice with pulp in it; but Mom often used Tang for the orange juice.
The store was out of Light corn syrup, so I used the Dark this time and it really didn’t seem to make any difference. Since I was doing a double recipe, my cup wasn’t big enough and I switched to a larger one. The liquid mixture looks like chocolate soup at this point.
I’ll save you the time of measuring: 2 ½ cups crushed vanilla wafers is one box full. I put them through the food processor since I have one now. But back in the dark ages I used to put them between two layers of waxed paper and beat them to death with a rolling pin .
Dad used to clean black walnuts for us, but these are store bought English walnuts; although pecans or any other nut would probably be just as good.
Add the nuts and powdered sugar to the cookie crumbs and stir them all together. I like to leave the cookie and walnuts with a bit of size to the pieces, some people prefer to grind them super fine. Suit yourself. Now pour the chocolate soup into the dry mixture and stir everything together until all the crumbs are moistened and coated with chocolate.
Now let the mixture (and yourself) sit for 30 minutes. It needs to rest and so do I.
After resting, take your rings off. Then use your spatula or spoon to break off roughly tablespoon sized chunks of dough and roll them into balls in your hands. Roll the balls in sugar and set them on a sheet of waxed paper.
I never get my sugar plums to be of a uniform size, but no one ever complains.
This is why you want to take your rings off before you roll the sugar plums. My hands always get sticky and chocolatey.
You really do need to let them sit for 5 to 10 days. The flavor improves so much, it is worth the wait. So into the tubs they go! This is an excellent treat to mail to friends and relatives. The time they spend in the mail is perfect ripening time; and unlike cookies, they don’t break and crumble in the mail.