In the very late 1970s and early 1980s there was a sudden vogue for rum balls, served in certain types of female-patronized tearooms and bakeries. They were small truffle-like chocolate confections, very sweet, with an extremely small amount of rum – more likely it was rum flavoring. I haven’t seen them in years.
My husband said his mother used to make rum balls that were baked and were flaky or crispy. I did a lot of inquiring and recipe searches before finding this one, which he says is pretty close to what he remembers. It was sent to me online by a nice person whose name I’ve forgotten but who said she remembered the same type of cookie when she was a child.
This is from http://www.Food.com. I have tweaked it very slightly.
Polish Rum Balls
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup finely ground nuts
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature ( 1 1/2 sticks)
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons rum ( light or dark, your choice)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- confectioners’ sugar
- Combine flour, pecans, butter, sugar, rum, vanilla, and nutmeg in bowl.
- Refrigerate 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into 3/4-inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Put unused dough back in refrigerator.
- Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until bottoms of cookies golden brown.
- Remove to rack to cool. These are much flakier once they have cooled.
- If desired, dust with additional sugar before serving.
I think you could substitute other liquors for the rum – whiskey, brandy, bourbon, etc. – and have a successful outcome. If you don’t want to use liquor, perhaps some orange juice would be a good substitute.