No-Bake Spiced Fruitcake Balls

  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: about 24 cookies
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Ingredients

1/2 cup pitted dried dates

1/2 cup dried black figs, stemmed and halved

1/3 cup dried cranberries

3 tablespoons dark rum or brandy

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup pecans

1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers

2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

2 tablespoons chopped candied lemon or orange peel

1 tablespoon molasses

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Pinch of salt

Green, red or white sanding sugar, for decorating

Directions

  1. Combine the dried dates, figs and cranberries in a medium microwave-safe bowl; add 2 tablespoons rum and the butter. Microwave in 1-minute intervals, stirring, until the dried fruit is softened and the butter is melted, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Toast the pecans in a small dry skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool, then coarsely chop.
  3. Combine the graham crackers, crystallized ginger, candied lemon peel, molasses, cinnamon, allspice and salt in a food processor. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon rum, the pecans and the dried-fruit mixture (with any liquid from the bowl). Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped and holds together when squeezed. (If the mixture is dry, add a little water just until it holds together.)
  4. Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and arrange on a baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Put the sanding sugar on a plate. Roll the balls in the sugar to coat.
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Perfect Cranberry Sauce

This ruby-hued sauce is a breeze to make with either fresh or frozen fruit.