Cookie Exchange

Boxed cookies to be taken to the cookie exchange.

Boxed cookies to be taken to the cookie exchange.

I have never been to a cookie exchange. Last year, I had been invited to one but it was cancelled due to lack of interest. Of course the month of December is a very hectic time of year. So part of an exchange is bringing cookies to exchange. So I bought my tickets for this event back in September and I decided o make Amaretto balls. The only problem is, I can’t go, so my daughter J. will go in my place with my ticket. I am still making the cookies for the event for her to take. I am making one of my favorite cookies – Amaretto balls. The key is to make them ahead of time, so they have time to cure. They are tasty freshly made, but if they are stored in a metal cookie tin, this treatment causes the Amaretto to really pop. My DH’s Aunt M. was known for her bourbon balls that she made every year for Chanukah. She would grind her nuts very, very finely. The first batch I made was at 1:00 AM, three nights ago and because everyone else was sleeping, I decided to grind almonds in our sunroom to help cut down on the noise. The only problem, is I couldn’t get them as fine as I needed. I made the balls anyway, but had difficulty making them into balls. So the next night, I made a second batch which had a mixture of almonds and pecans. I was able to grind them more finely then the first batch, however, I usually buy almonds ground at the local Amish market. While helping out at our flea market, I asked MIL to fetch me that kind. So tonight I attempted to make another batch of the balls, this time with the extra fine ground almonds. The fine ground almonds is the secret to success. Okay, the real secret of success is having all of the correct ingredients. I ran out of vanilla wafers, so I decided to sub crispy rice cereal for the cookies. It did not work to make the Amaretto balls, however, it does make a great adult ice cream topping. This week I will post the recipe for the Amaretto balls just in time for the holidays as well as the ice cream topping.

Amaretto Balls

2 cups vanilla wafers (pulverized)
1 cup almonds (very finely ground)
3 tablespoons bakers cocoa
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon Amaretto extract
1/4 cup Amaretto Liquor
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar (colored) or colorful sprinkles for dipping

1. Mix vanilla wafers, almonds, cocoa, corn syrup, brown
sugar and Amaretto together thoroughly.

2. Place mixture in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

3. Make approximately 1″ in diameter balls.

4. Roll them in colored sugar (I used white) or sprinkles
and place them in a metal tin lined with wax paper.

5. The longer they cure, the stronger the Amaretto will shine. (I cure them for at least 24-hours before serving.)

Yields: 24 balls




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