Sugarplums

We know sugarplums from the popular Christmas Eve story ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and also from Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy, but did you know sugarplums are actually a real thing??

I honestly thought they were just a fictional candy until I was at a Christmas market a few years ago and stopped short when I saw a lady selling “sugarplums.” After indulging in a little sample I was hooked! These sweet and spicy balls are the perfect holiday treat.

The history of sugarplums is a little murky, but most sources believe they stem from a combination of the practice of preserving fruit and the creation of “comfits” – balls of sugar with a seed, nut or spice in the middle. The end shape of comfits typically resulted in more of a plum shape, thus the name ‘sugar plum.’ Today’s version of sugarplums are a dried fruit, nut and spice mixture processed into small balls and rolled in sugar.

The ingredient combinations are virtually endless but this is the version I personally have come to love:

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Sugarplums

These bite-sized treats are full of sugar, spice and everything nice for the holidays!
Course Dessert
Keyword Christmas, Holiday, Seasonal
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12

Equipment

  • Small skillet
  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

Instructions

  • In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds for 7-10 minutes stirring frequently until golden brown and fragrant. *Be careful – they toast quickly after ~5 minutes of heating!
  • When almonds are done, combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until peppercorn-sized balls appear.
  • Using hands, form dough into 1-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar for finishing touch.
  • Store in the fridge in a sealed container.

Wishing you all Happy Holidays!

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