Chocolate covered rum balls are a sweet, boozy grownup treat. Made with dark rum and dark chocolate, these chocolate covered rum balls are a variation on my easy rum ball recipe. They make a great addition to the holiday dessert table and they are perfect for holiday cookie exchanges.
Most often, we make rum balls around the holidays. Which is the time of the year when many of us are indulging in two things: booze and sugar. Check and check.
And, because we usually make these around the holiday season, I need a recipe that doesn’t require much time or energy when I have a to do list that’s a mile long. Enter: rum balls.
chocolate covered rum balls
Making rum balls covered in chocolate is best done on a cool, dry day. Unfortunately for me, until yesterday, temperatures have still been hovering in the 90’s.
These rum balls are made with toasted walnuts, so I used pieces of walnut as a garnish on top. Partly because it looks nice, but also to let anyone with an allergy know to avoid them.
Tips for making perfect rum balls
The flavor of a rum ball develops even more overnight, so it is the perfect make ahead sweet. If stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, they will last for a few weeks.
You are probably not doing anything wrong at all. When you scoop the rum balls, press the scoop against the palm of your hand to pack the rum ball mix.
Lightly pressing the mixture together will help the ball keep its shape.
How to make rum balls at home
The base of most rum ball recipes is this: one box of cookies (vanilla wafers, grahams, chocolate cookies, etc) mixed with toasted nuts, sugar, rum, honey (or corn syrup) and a pinch of salt. Salt in desserts is necessary to help balance out the sweetness.
Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
How to make chocolate covered rum balls:
- Toast Walnuts
On a baking sheet, place walnuts in a single layer and toast in a 350°F oven for 6 – 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Make cookie mixture
In the bowl of a food processor, add cookies and cooled, toasted nuts.
- Add liquids
Add rum and honey or corn syrup. Stir to combine
- Shape rum balls
Scoop rum ball mixture, roll into balls. Set on a baking sheet, chill in the refrigerator.
- Coat in chocolate
Dip your rum balls in chocolate and place on parchment lined baking sheet to set. Top with walnut pieces or drizzled chocolate, if desired.
What do I need to make chocolate covered rum balls at home?
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- One tool that I use to make rum balls is a food processor. It makes quick work of chopping nuts and grinding cookie crumbs. If you don’t have one, you can certainly break the cookies up with a rolling pin.
- Another helpful tool is a kitchen scale. I often use weight as a measurement instead of volume because it is more accurate.
- Finally a small cookie scoop will ensure that your rum balls are all the same size.
- If you’re planning to make some for your holiday cookie exchange, these Christmas tree gift boxes are the perfect size and they are super cute.
Making chocolate covered rum balls
To coat your rum balls in chocolate requires a little planning ahead. Not much, but a little advance prep. We are going to (sort of) temper the chocolate using a method called “seeding”. However, if prefer to just melt the chocolate to coat your rum balls, go right ahead. Your rum balls will still be pretty and delicious.
Tempering chocolate is a process used to make chocolate perfectly smooth and shiny. It keeps the chocolate at an optimal temperature so when cooled, it “snaps” when you break it.
Back in my restaurant days, we used this couverture chocolate for dipping. Couverture chocolate is made to melt beautifully and coat whatever you’re dipping to perfection. When I’m making a big batch of something, it is what I still use and if you’re someone who makes a lot of chocolate dipped items during the holidays, it is totally worth the money.
For our purposes, I’m using plain chocolate chips, because it is what most of us have and can easily find at the store. I used Ghiradelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips.
If you’d like to read more on all of the ways to temper chocolate, check out this post on tempering chocolate.
There are two common ways to melt chocolate: in a metal bowl over barely simmering water and in the microwave.
I always melt chocolate over simmering water, unless I have a very small amount to melt. It’s easier to keep an eye on the chocolate and I don’t run the risk of burning it.
If you choose this method, be careful not to get water in the chocolate. It will seize and there is no coming back. You’ll have to start over. Also, the water in the pot cannot touch the bottom of the bowl of chocolate. It isn’t as daunting as it sounds, trust me.
Once you have formed and chilled your rum balls, set them on the counter to warm just a bit and get ready to dip! The chocolate coating goes dangerously well with these rum balls, making them taste like sweet, boozy, chocolate treats.
rum ball recipes
Looking for a few more rum ball variations? Try these flavors!
- Easy Rum Ball Recipe
- Pumpkin Rum Balls
- Coconut Rum Balls
- Cherry Rum Balls
- Chocolate Coconut Rum Balls
- Cinnamon Rum Balls
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For the cookies
- 11 oz. vanilla wafer cookies
- 1 cup toasted walnuts
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup (or honey)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
For the chocolate coating
- 1 pound dark or bittersweet chocolate chips
- walnut pieces for garnish, if desired
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine wafer cookies and walnuts. Process until finely ground. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together powdered sugar, salt and allspice.
- Stir in rum and corn syrup.
- Add cookie and nut mixture, stir well to combine.
- Chill mixture for 30 minutes.
- Scoop out tablespoon portions using small cookie scoop, roll into balls and return to the fridge while you melt your chocolate.
- Gently melt 2/3 of your chocolate either in 30 second bursts in the microwave until mostly melted, stirring after each time (it will continue to melt as you stir) OR melting in a small bowl set over a pot of simmering water.
- When the chocolate is melted and hot, remove from the heat and add the remainder of your chocolate. Stir with a rubber spatula, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom, for about 4 - 6 minutes. The chocolate should be cool. Lightly touch the spatula with the chocolate on it to the area just below your bottom lip. If it doesn't feel very warm anymore, you're ready to dip! If it does, keep stirring for another minute or two to cool the chocolate.
- Using a skewer or fork, dip each rum ball in chocolate and gently drag the bottom of the rum ball against the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. This will prevent your rum balls from having a "foot" or a pool of melted chocolate on the bottom.
- Place chocolate covered rum balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet as they are dipped. Place walnut pieces on top, if using. Leave at room temperature for the chocolate to set, then place in refrigerator, if needed.
I have an 11 cup food processor and I can make my rum balls in one batch. If you have a smaller food processor, you'll have to split it into two batches.
Again, if you prefer to just melt and dip your rum balls, it is perfectly fine!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 134 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 54mg Carbohydrates: 11g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 5g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 2g
Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious weekend!