Spiked Date and Fudge Balls
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 20 chocolate wafer cookies (about 4 1/2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup dates, pitted and finely chopped (about 4 dates)
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, for garnish
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup rye whiskey or bourbon
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup raw or turbinado sugar, for garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, chopped, optional
1. Heat the chocolate in a microwave bowl on medium power for 1 minute (or in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water). Stir and repeat until the chocolate is melted and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes in all depending on the power of your microwave.
2. Place the cookies in a food processor and process until finely ground (you should have about 1 1/4 cup ground cookies). Add the dates to the food processor, along with 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa powder, rye, corn syrup and melted chocolate. Pulse to bring together into a sticky dough, about 15 times.
3. Transfer to small bowl and let it sit at room temperature until firm enough to roll, about 5 minutes. Combine the raw sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and caraway seeds if desired in a shallow bowl. With a cookie or small ice cream scoop, scoop a scant tablespoon of the mixture or so into your hand and roll into a ball. Roll the ball in the sugar mixture. Set each onto a baking sheet or a large plate. Repeat with the remaining dough.
4. Package each dozen in an air-tight gift container, jar, or cookie box and keep at room temperature up to 3 days. Fudge balls store well in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Cook's Note: Mix and match different coatings for variety. Instead of raw sugar, you may substitute confectioners' sugar or cocoa powder for the decorative coating, or ground marcona almonds or pistachio nuts instead of the caraway. Turn dry, days old brownies or chocolate cake scraps into rum balls by using them in place of the wafer cookies.
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