What is a sugar plum? We sing about them every year....yet who actually makes them? I do! I hunted and hunted for a traditional recipe; one that you could have easily found being traded among friends decades ago. Believe it or not, this is a recipe that really has no, well, exact recipe. I found a section in a book from the 1940's that describes Sugar Plums as 'any round or oval shaped candy coated in sugar.' There's a lot of room for interpretation there.
These are what I ended up with, and you'll see in the ingredients below that you can easily add more of one thing, less of another and perhaps you'll end up with a new family recipe you can closely guard and pass down through generations. I would like to note that I wish I would have made a very small batch first to really grasp what they'd taste like, because in my second go-round, I would have added more nuts.
Here are most of the ingredients. I purchased them from my local Whole Foods from the bulk foods section. Since you only need a 1/2 cup at the most of each ingredient, it's a pretty affordable recipe.
I used Turkish apricots in this recipe. They are darker colored and I feel like the flavor is more subtle. You can use regular apricots though.
Those are Medjool dates up above.
And below, dried apple. (You can use dried pear or another dried fruit instead.)
Here are my nuts, all measured out and ready for toasting!
And just look at that orange zest. That is pure orange flavor right there. Next time I make this recipe, I'm going to use less orange zest.
I over-toasted the nuts. I'm not going to edit out my failures just for Simplicity Embellished, although, I would like to. ;)
I will admit that I took a bite of one of the burnt ones.
Don't think you can use those. You can't. They don't taste good.
Then, you just dump it all in a food processor and pulse. It will then look like this.
Make a ball, roll it in sugar. That's it!
Who knew Sugar Plums were that easy?
I dyed the sugar with a bit of yellow and read food coloring, but I think just leaving the sugar white would be lovely too---very frosty!
Here's a before and after of a naked sugar plum, and one coated with just white sugar (taken of a different batch, on a day with better lighting!):
Here's the traditional recipe:
Total time start to finish: 25 min 1/2 C. toasted pecans 1/2 C. toasted walnuts 1/4 C. pitted dates 1/2 C. dried figs 1/4 C. dried cherries 1/2 C. dried apple 1/2 C. dried apricots 1 tbs. candied ginger 1 tbs. grated orange zest 1-2 tbsp. of orange juice, as needed
1. Stick it all in a food processor 2. Pulse until it's minced 3. Add just enough orange juice to bind everything together 4. Roll into balls 5. Roll in sugar 6. Set out to dry
Here's my favorite alternate version: (the new stuff is in italics)
Total time start to finish: 25 min 1/2 C. toasted pecans 1/2 C. toasted walnuts 1/2 C. toasted almonds 1/4 C. pitted dates 1/2 C. dried figs 1/4 C. dried cherries 1/4 C. dried pineapple (sugared is OK) 1/4 C. dried apricots 1-2 tbsp. of cranberry juice, as needed
1. Stick it all in a food processor 2. Pulse until it's minced 3. Add just enough cranberry juice to bind everything together 4. Roll into balls 5. Roll in sugar 6. Set out to dry