I remember my great-grandmother Mert (Myrtle) made a rum ball dessert which she set out on the holiday table without any thought about the grandchildren. (Note, this was in the day when cars did not have seat belts and children did not wear bike helmets either!) I guess she didn’t need to worry about underage alcohol consumption though, because I tasted one once—a quick lick of the powdered sugar—and spit it out right away. Rum is a developed taste. How I wish my great-grandmother was still here so I could have a bite of this old-fashioned treat made from her own hands. I’m sure I wouldn’t spit them out today.

Rum Ball Recipe Like Grandma Used to Make

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Category: Dessert - alcoholic

Cuisine: American

Servings: 48

Rum Ball Recipe Like Grandma Used to Make

Rum balls rolled in powdered sugar with a little cinnamon - a timeless treat passed down from generation to generation...


  • 1 - 6 oz package (1 cup) of chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup rum
  • bottles of run
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (44 wafers)
  • 1 cup ground walnuts
  • powdered sugar (add a little cinnamon for variety of taste and color)


  • Melt chocolate pieces over low heat.
  • Remove from heat and stir in sugar, rum, and syrup.
  • Add wafers, walnuts, and vanilla and stir well.
  • Once cool enough to touch, form mixture into 1 inch round shapes (about 2 teaspoons each).
  • Roll in powdered sugar.
  • Store in airtight container for several days.


Great-grandma Mert and her sister (a nun) were famous for their rum ball recipe and their whisky ball recipe, too. Everyone else's grandmas made pies and cookies. My Grandma Mert made those as well, but it's the stories of the rum ball recipe that are handed down from generation to generation. For more stories and recipes check out my dinner club murder mysteries - a culinary cozy series which also features ideas for starting a dinner club of your own.



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