A Bad Place Full Of Bad Jerks

Oddly Edible: Rum balls, the potluck dessert for people that can't cook.

It’s that time of the year when offices have the Christmas potluck lunch. The event where you get to show off some cooking or shopping skills or be the schlub that brought a tray Walmart cookies or a 20 pack of timbits.

You had some options of course - if you’d been smart you would have gone to Shruti and chipped in on her big purchase of vegetarian samosas. Or maybe you’d have planned ahead and picked up a 5 lb bag of meatballs, some Diana sauce and toothpicks and warmed in all up in your crockpot.

Chances are, especially if you’re reading this blog, you didn’t plan ahead and probably don’t have a crockpot. Chances are you got stuck with bringing a dessert (sign up earlier next time) and don’t know what to do.


Your’re going to have to make something in order to take something my friend. And this recipe is here to help you out.

It’s the recipe for the kind of person that uses their oven to store books and just realized the only grocery store within 5 miles closed 20 minutes ago. This is recipe where the ingredients are available at a variety store and even a putz can make it.

We’re going to make Rum Balls!

A homemade treat that the will make people think you know your way around the kitchen even if you couldn’t boil an egg without burning it. Plus, like all good desserts the first three ingredients are sugar and the fourth is booze.


Let’s get ‘cooking’!


2 1/2 packs of wafer cookies - you know those cheap rectangular cookies that are just layers of sugar and crispy, you’ll need 2 1/2 packs of those. I use 1 1/2 packs of chocolate and 1 pack of vanilla. The extra half pack goes to the kids.


2 cups of icing sugar - it’s also called confectioners sugar or powdered sugar. By a bag and afterwards you can pretend you’re Tony Montana with the rest of it.

1/2 cup of corn syrup - notice a pattern here?

2/3 cup of rum - don’t use the good stuff. I went with Kraken because it was the cheapest at the LCBO that wasn’t in a plastic bottle.


Two 100g packets of chopped walnuts or pecans, these are the small bags from the baking aisle. Google how many ounces 100 grams is if you live in a country with an archaic system of measurements.

Tools -:

Big plastic ziplock bag, big bowl, spatula, spoon

You don’t need anything fancy. This is the kind of recipe you can make in your off the grid cabin, the studio apartment in the city or even your mom’s basement.

  • Crush up the wafers - if you have a food processor use it. If not, take 6-8 of the wafers, put them in the large ziplock bag and crunch them with your hands and a spatula. Keep doing this until you have 5 and a bit cups of crushed cookies and you’ve worked out a lot of your Xmas issues.
  • Mix in the powdered sugar. Take the time to ensure the sugar is well blended in at this point.
  • Add in the corn syrup
  • Mix
  • Mix
  • Mix, I find that the best way to mix this mixture is by drawing the spatula though the bowl on edge. The mixture and this point will have the consistency of mortar.
  • Add in the rum
  • Mix some more
  • Now you should have a ball of brown, sticky, rum flavoured dough.
  • Using the spoon, scoop out and roll balls that are a around 1 inch in diameter
  • Once you’ve rolled up all the dough, you can drop them in a bowl of powdered sugar to give them a pretty coating

These are intensely sweet so don’t go overboard and make large balls. I personally like to roll them in powdered chocolate or cinnamon / nutmeg mixes. Don’t use cloves - former employees from 10 years ago still reminding me of this mis-step.

That’s it, you’re done. You can serve them the next day without fear but if you can let them sit in the fridge for a couple of days they’ll mellow and the flavours will be well distributed.

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