For the many of you asking for the key to these delightful and delicious treats.


3/4 c whole almonds or pistachios
1/2 c each finely chopped dried figs, dates, apricots
3 TB orange liqueur or orange juice
2 tsp grated orange zest
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves

Combine the ingredients in a food processor and pulse til the nuts are about the size of peppercorns and it begins to stick together. *

Form into 3 cm (1 inch) compact balls ~ around 32.

Place about 1/3 c sugar in a small bowl. Roll the sugarplums in the sugar, place on a piece of waxed paper.  Chill til firm, then store in a containter.  Keeps 1 week at room temp., and two in the fridge.

An excellent and delicious post-run energy snack.

2 Sugarplums = 100 cal

* Shall I tell you about the first year I made these after the food processor died and I believed I wouldn’t be able to make them after all? And then I realized that not only were these originally made before the invention of the food processor, they were invented pre-electicity. D’oh.  Now I simply prechop the nuts, put all the ingredients in a bowl, let the orange juice moisten the fruits for about 10 minutes, then dump the whole thing onto the cutting board.  A few minutes of chopping with a knife and it’s behaving wonderfully.

Dare I mention that I spent the afternoon making the Chocolate Orange Shortbread? Here’s a photo and a link to the recipe from last year.  These make people swoon. Make them if you have the time.


17 thoughts on “Sugarplums

  1. JoVE says:

    Thanks. They look yummy. and I have a mezza-luna knife with it’s own chopping board that has a dip in it. Perfect for chopping nuts and fruit. though I also own a food processor. And there is orange liqueur in the cupboard because that is the sort of thing my mother-out-law likes to drink (and I sometimes like a cosmo, when I’m feeling like a girly drink). Hmmm…

  2. Kim says:

    I haven’t got a food processor, so thanks for the tip on working without!
    I live in Turkey where all of the listed ingredients are abundantly, locally, and inexpensively available. Today is market day for us, so I will be picking up all that I need to make them.

    And to think that for years I assumed sugar plums were sugary plums. These sound much more delicious!

  3. kborcz says:

    mmmm. And I thought I was tasting real sugarplums at the candy store the other day. Those were more like gummies covered in sugar. Thanks for posting!

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  5. emily says:

    wonderful! so easy and christmasy. A perfect party gift. I made a mixed tray of sugar plums and rum balls as a housewarming gift. Here my recipe for rum balls. delicious!:

    2 sticks butter
    8oz dark chocolate
    1/4 cup rum
    1 1/2 cups dried fruit (i like raisins and apricots, but you could use your leftover sugarplum fruit!)
    8 oz powdered sugar (more or less, depending on your sweet tooth)
    crushed cookies (maybe leftover christmas cookie crumbs?) for thickening the mixture
    shredded coconut, chopped nuts, chocolate sprinkles etc… for coating the balls

    melt the butter and the chocolate together

    roughly chop the fruit

    mix everything in a bowl, let chill until it is “rollable” (if it is still too liquidy, just add some cookie crumbs) and form into balls, rolling them in the “finishers” and keep them in the fridge.

    tip: make them a week ahead of time, so the flavors really mingle. mmmmmmm!!!!

  6. f says:

    loved your recipe!!! I did it the old fashioned pre electricity way, while watching John Adams on TiVo and somehow it felt very appropiate… anyhoo. Loved the recipe, made them for a christmas party and everyone complimented me! THANKS so much for sharing!

  7. christina says:

    thanks for the yummy recipe, saw it on ‘craftzine’ as well!! mine turned out yummy, though i substituted raisins for figs, i just didn’t have any. when my dad, who is obsessed with figs, tried them, he told me they would definitely taste better with figs, so maybe next year, because he gave me a fig tree for Christmas!!

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