Rumkugeln are rum balls, basically a mixture of chocolate, sugar, something tasty to help hold it all together, and a surprisingly large amount of rum. These seem to be a bit less of a national treasure than Vanillekipferl or Linzer Augen, and as a result there seems to be a lot more variation. I saw recipes made with coconuts, nuts nuts, butter (or not), cream, dried fruit, even instant coffee (!). They can be coated in sugar, coconut, chocolate sprinkles, pistachios… There even appear to be kid-friendly versions that substitute orange juice for rum, as unappetizing as that sounds.
This version is from my mother-in-law’s cookbook, where she lists them as “Nusskugeln.” So, unsurprisingly, they’re of the nuts nuts variety. (She also has a separate entry for “Rumkugeln,” which uses dried fruit instead of walnuts, which I didn’t try.) There’s not much to this, really, other than that grinding up walnuts is kind of a pain. They’re surprisingly mushy and hard to grind into a fine enough powder — more like a paste, actually — to make the kugeln. But other than that, you’re just melting chocolate, mixing everything together, and rolling them into balls.
- 140g walnuts
- 170g white sugar
- 1 packet vanilla sugar
- 125g baking chocolate
- 3tbsp (!) rum — roughly a shot of rum per batch!
- Grind the walnuts into a fine powdery-pastey type thing.
- Melt the chocolate — I put it into a heat-safe glass bowl and boiled the whole thing until the chocolate was smooth and viscous.
- Mix the ground walnuts, melted chocolate, sugar, vanilla sugar, and rum together. It should be pretty wet and sticky.
- Roll the mixture into bit-sized balls, then dunk them in yet more white sugar to coat the outside
I got maybe 30 kugeln from this recipe. There is more alcohol in these than I’d thought — and you can taste it — but each one is still equivalent to something like half a sip of beer.