One of the things I miss most about my great-grandmother, besides her warm nature and hospitality, are her holiday cookies. Each year before Christmas she’d bake up a storm in her kitchen, creating all sorts of unique cookies from hazelnut wafers to apricot jam thumbprint cookies to almond horns. But she’d also make rum balls…tons and tons of them. As a child, I was never privy to them and my parents would always talk about how tasty they were, which only made it worse (I never did, and still don’t, enjoy being denied cookies).
Unfortunately, along with the passing of my great-grandmother went many of her recipes, including those rum balls. Since then, we haven’t had any of her cookies. So it’s been my mission over the past few years to try to recreate her recipes from my childhood memory. And while I can’t exactly recover the taste of the rum balls I never had, these brandy balls have still become a new hit among my family members.
Not only do these brandy balls require simple ingredients, they are incredibly easy to make. My kind of cookie! To make the brandy balls, you’ll need a box of vanilla wafer cookies, some brandy, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, chopped nuts and corn syrup.
Crush the wafers into fine crumbs in a food processor, then stir them in a large bowl together with the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and chopped nuts.