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Hi Bold Bakers!
If you’ve never had classic Classic Rum Balls before, get ready. These one-bite balls are one of my favorite holiday treats, as the flavors are everything Christmas, and they are so simple to make — so all of your holiday entertaining becomes just that much easier.
Made with ground pecan, cookie crumbs, and of course rum, the flavor of these little balls are classic for a reason! My recipe is based on the original from the 50s, but is turned up with great quality ingredients and a few extra tips that bring out all that nutty flavor.
How to make vanilla wafer crumbs
The base of these Classic Rum Ball Cookies is a fine powder of vanilla wafer that has been crushed. I like to grind my cookies into crumbs in the food processor, but you can do this by hand. These cookie crumbs are dry and sweet with just a hint of vanilla. They compliment the flavor of the toasted pecans and lovely rum perfectly.
How to toast and chop pecans for Rum Balls
Classic Rum Ball Cookies aren’t complete without toasted pecans and rum. I know it’s one extra step, but it’s super important to toast the pecans before adding them into the balls, as this really brings out the buttery quality of the nuts.
To toast the nuts, I roast them dry in a 350°F (180°C) oven for about 10 minutes. After roasting, I roughly chop in the food processor like I do the cookie crumbs, but you can do this by hand with a large sharp knife.
What if i don’t like pecans?
It’s okay if you don’t like pecans, or are allergic to them because you can replace them with almond meal, ground walnuts, or ground cashews. Pecans go really well with rum, though, so try it with pecans if you can!
What if I don’t want to use alcohol?
While the rum is what makes these Classic Rum Ball Cookies, I always like giving you Bold Bakers the option to make my recipes without alcohol. If you don’t want to use rum, feel free to substitute it with a fruit juice of your choice, perhaps orange, apple, or cranberry juice. That said, it will alter the overall flavor, and will turn into just Cookie Balls — still delicious, though!
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No-Bake Classic Rum Ball Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup (3oz/85g) vanilla wafers*, ground into crumbs
- 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2oz/213g) pecans, toasted and finely chopped
- 1 cup (4oz/115g) powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons rum, orange or cranberry juice
- In a large bowl combine the cookie crumbs, 1 cup (5oz/142g) pecans (preferably toasted), powdered sugar, cocoa, maple syrup, and rum.
- Mix until a sticky dough forms. At this point chill the cookie mixture for about 2 hours.
- Once chilled, scoop the cookie mixture into balls. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop a level tablespoon of the mix then roll into a ball. Repeat the process until all of the balls are rolled.
- Once all of the balls have been rolled coat each one in the remaining 1/2 cup (2 ½oz/71g) pecans.
- Cover and store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.