World’s best rum balls recipe!



All right everyone, time to gather around the kitchen table!

I’m about to unveil a sure-fire recipe for the world’s finest rum balls. If you follow this recipe closely, and have been very good this year, these delicious, delightful confections will melt in your mouth. They will ignite your taste buds and bring about the holiday spirit, and possibly the spirits of Christmas past, present, and future, and a new spirit named Bacardi, who occasionally appears from a bottle after several rum balls are consumed!

Along with a spirited desire to make the best rum balls, you need a strong pitching arm for mixing the heavenly concoction with a fork and rolling the dough into fine rum balls that Santa, the elves, and the reindeer will all enjoy. Also make sure you wear loose fitting clothing as professional rum ballers have been known to gain a few pounds just from inhaling the powdered sugar ingredient.


Begin by commandeering a large bowl that could hold at least a half dozen large apples. Make sure you also have two dinner plates that are ceramic, not paper, not metal and not the dog’s dish, no matter how much your dog begs, and a blender to mix the Nilla Wafers in. One dish will be covered in powdered sugar for the rum ball rolling and the other will be used to store the sweet treats in the fridge where they must harden in the frigid air for a few hours. Also, you will need a butter knife to scoop the dough out of the bowl.

If you want to roll some for friends, round holiday tins that can be found at most dollar stores work well. The tins can hold approximately 25 rum balls the size of the top half of your thumb. You might want to line the inside of the cans with some foil. I do.



A small bottle of Bacardi light rum. Don’t even try to substitute anything else.

Use Nilla Wafer cookies from Nabisco, not a discount brand that will save you few bucks. I’ll know and so will Santa and Rudolph! One box makes about 150 tablespoon-sized rum balls. I usually buy three boxes so I have enough to hand out to cops, firemen, UPS delivery people, mail carriers, the mayor, and other semi-celebrities. No, dogs and cats are not semi-celebrities in that category, no matter how many times they claim to have been on Facebook and TikTok.

Get a two-pound bag of powdered sugar.

Obtain one bottle of light Caro Syrup.

And the magic ingredient is sweet white coconut flakes. Get two 15 ounce bags.



Now we commence the mixing magic.

Place two cups of the Nilla Wafers into the mixer. Blend at the speed you need to ensure those wafers become dust, finely ground with no large crumbs visible. Now, repeat with another two cups and add all the crumbs into a large bowl.

Add one cup of powdered sugar to the crumbs and mix thoroughly with a fork, not a spoon. For those with a sweet tooth, you can cheat and add a wee bit more powdered sugar, but not too much or you might become mistaken for Santa in a few days.

Now add two cups of coconut into the bowl and mix well with a fork, not a spoon. If a little extra coconut falls in, don’t worry, as the coconut is the secret ingredient that soaks up the rum. When you bite down on the ball, the rum will flow onto your tongue!

Drizzle four tablespoons of Caro Syrup into the concoction, but only one tablespoon at a time! Mix each spoonful well and don’t try and cheat, thinking you can simply add all four at once because you will create a sticky mess and Santa will know.

Now comes the fine art of rum pouring! Slowly and carefully pour the Bacardi into one eighth of a measuring cup, you know, half of a one quarter cup for those of us unfamiliar with simple mathematics. Sprinkle it slowly into the bowl, dripping drops across the entire bowl’s mixture. Now mix it slowly with your right hand, unless you are left-handed, for about five minutes. Ensure you are mixing the bottom and sides of the bowl. If the concoction looks dry and crumbly, carefully mix another eighth of a cup as you did previously and mix it thoroughly. Don’t take any short cuts like adding a whole bunch of rum because you will get a soggy mess that will have to be discarded, NOT GIVEN TO THE DOG, who is probably sitting right at your side, hoping a rum ball falls to the floor.

How do you know the mixture is ready? It should be sticky to the touch and a little bit shiny.

With your butter knife, scoop out a portion the size of a teaspoon and place it between your thumb, index finger, and middle finger. Roll it into a ball and place it on to the powdered sugar plate while rolling it and coating it with the white confection. Now, place it on the plate that you will use to store it in the refrigerator.

Congratulations! You have made your first rum ball, one of about 75 that you can roll from that batch.



Wondering how you clean your fingers when you are done? Of course, by licking them. You can also lick the rolling knife and scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl with a spoon which can also find its way into your mouth. And no, the dog or cat can’t lick your fingers or the bowl! (You don’t want the dog to get drunk and squat on the floor. It can also get your pet sick and is dangerous for any animal, but magically, not for people.)


Happy Holidays!


Editor’s Note: Brand names are included in this opinion writer’s recipe. They do not represent advertising, views, or suggestions of The Gallup Sun.

By William Madaras
The Rum Ball Baker of Gallup