Jon ~ Desserts are the ultimate comfort food, in my estimation. They can be downright therapeutic, too, especially after a stressful day. As for myself, not having something sweet when I want it can actually be a source of stress.
I know what you’re thinking: since I’m married to Robin Robertson, surely my home must be filled with amazing desserts. But the terrible truth is my wife doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth. So when I want an impromptu dessert, I often have to make it myself.
That’s why I like the easy dessert recipes in Vegan Unplugged that allow even a kitchen klutz like me to make quick-and-yummy desserts with on-hand pantry ingredients. These rum balls are a good example, and I particularly enjoy them in the fall and winter. Developed for emergencies when the power goes out, you can make them anytime at all …
The best thing about this recipe, next to sneaking tastes of the rum, is that they require no cooking and keep well at room temperature. In fact, they benefit from sitting out at room temperature as the flavors get richer. You can make them without rum, too. For a non-alcoholic and child-friendly version, substitute apple juice for the rum.
Ginger-Walnut Rum Balls
If you’re “unplugged” (or don’t have a food processor), you can crush the gingersnaps and walnuts by enclosing them in a plastic bag and gently rolling over them several times with a rolling pin or wine bottle. (If you’re not a fan of gingersnaps, substitute vanilla wafers.)
- 1 cup finely crushed vegan gingersnap crumbs
- 1/4 cup finely crushed walnuts
- 1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark rum (or apple juice)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
If the power’s on: Use a food processor to process the gingersnaps and walnuts until finely ground. Then add the 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, rum, and maple syrup and process until well mixed.
If you’re unplugged: Combine the crushed cookie crumbs and walnuts in a bowl with 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar, rum, and maple syrup. Mix thoroughly until the mixture holds together.
To assemble: Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the remaining 1/4 cup of confectioners' sugar and arrange them on a plate. Cover with plastic film wrap and let them sit for several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to develop.
Article, recipe, and photos by Jon Robertson, author of Vegan Unplugged: A Pantry Cuisine Cookbook and Survival Guide. For more sample recipes and emergency preparedness tips that you can use around your house, be sure to visit Jon's Vegan Unplugged blog.