Maple rum balls are an easy, no bake holiday treat for grownups. This easy rum ball recipe is made with maple cookies and rolled in maple sugar. They are a great nibble for holiday gatherings and for shipping to friends and family.
I like to have an easy no bake recipe that I can make ahead for holiday parties or Christmas cookie platters. Rum balls are perfect for this because they are incredibly easy and fast.
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Maple rum balls for Christmas
Most often, I roll rum balls in powdered sugar or a mixture of granulated sugar and powdered sugar. However, these are maple rum balls, so these little treats get their holiday sparkle from maple sugar.
One of the best things about making these boozy bites is that you can swap out the cookies, the spices and the alcohol used to make as many variations as you can dream up. Believe me, I’ve made at least a dozen and there are more coming.
Rum balls were originally a way for bakeries to use up leftover cookie and cake scraps. They mixed up the crumbs with a bit of alcohol and jam or honey, rolled them into sugar-coated balls and sold them.
The bakeries were trying to avoid food waste and profit loss, I think it was a moment of absolute genius.
The only ingredient you will likely have to shop for are the maple cookies. I bought mine at Trader Joe’s, but any maple cookies will do.
If you’ve already started stocking up for holiday baking, you probably have everything else already. I’ve made rum balls with both walnuts and pecans – use whichever you prefer, or whatever you have in the pantry.
Please do not skip the salt in the recipe. All sweet recipes benefit from a bit of salt to help balance the sweetness.
How to make rum balls
First, grind the cookies and nuts in the bowl of a food processor. This is what it should look like – large crumbs, but you should still see small pieces of nuts or cookies.
Next, sift the powdered sugar with the salt and allspice. Then stir in the rum and maple syrup.
Finally, add the cookie mixture to the bowl and stir it all together. Cover with plastic wrap and let it chill for about 30 minutes. Do not skip this step – the mixture needs time to absorb the liquid and set up.
Rum ball Q & A
Rum balls do not to be refrigerated, but they should be stored in a cool area. Refrigerating them will extend the “shelf life” to a few weeks.
YES! You can swap out the rum for bourbon to make these into maple bourbon balls.
Rum balls freeze really well, actually. If you plan on freezing them, don’t roll them in sugar. It is best to coat them when you plan to serve them.
Rum balls get even better after a day or two, so making them ahead is not only ideal, it is ENCOURAGED.
This is a great time to get together with a friend or neighbor, share your resources and make a big batch of rum balls for holiday parties or shipping cookies to family.
They keep really well and they are even better after a day or two, so making them a few days before you’ll need them is perfect.
Rum ball recipes
These easy, no bake treats are so simple to make, you can whip up a few batches in no time! Try a few of these recipes for your holiday gatherings.
- Peppermint rum balls
- Gingerbread rum balls
- Cinnamon rum balls
- Gluten-free rum balls
- White chocolate rum balls
- Peanut butter whiskey balls
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A worthy cause
This year, we’re raising money in support of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. We’d love if you could join us in supporting a worthy cause this holiday season. Here is our fundraising page.
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to funding research for new, innovative and less-toxic treatments. Since 2008, they have granted nearly $17 million to research in the form of 100+ research grants to leading pediatric cancer centers across the country. From these grants have stemmed 35+ treatments available to kids battling cancer today.
For rum balls
- 12 ounces maple sandwich cookies
- 1 1/4 cups toasted walnuts
- 1 cup powdered (icing) sugar
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. allspice
- 1/2 cup amber rum
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
For sugar coating
- 1/2 cup maple sugar
- In the bowl of a food processor, process maple cookies and walnuts until finely ground. Set aside. (You may have to do this batches if you have a smaller food processor)
- In a large bowl, sift together powdered sugar, salt and allspice.
- Stir in rum and maple syrup.
- Add cookie and nut mixture to the bowl and stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Scoop out tablespoon sized portions and use your hands to roll into balls.
- Toss in maple sugar to coat.
- Place on baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving, to allow the sugar to adhere.
Instead of maple sugar, you can use 1/4 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1/4 cup light brown sugar to coat the rum balls.
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Serving Size:1 rum ball
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 62Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 62mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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