Sugarplums Have a Fairy?

In case you were wondering.

Sugarplums may no longer dance in children’s dreams, but I have come to learn just how tasty they are. For those who don’t know, including my fourth grade teacher who could not tell me so many years ago, sugarplums are simply a ball of chopped, dried fruits rolled in sugar.

Despite their name, sugarplums are not simply plums, but they can include apricots, dates, cranberries, and figs along with toasted almonds and honey.

You may not be drooling now, but these confections offer a flavor that is distinct from other modern treats. The addition of cardamom, fennel, anise and carraway are subtle, but flavorful. The dried fruits are sweet, and the sugar brings them over the top.

Once I bit into one of these, I thought, chocolate chips would be good. I encourage chocolate for all treats. Coconut would also be a great addition in within or as a coating.

Go ahead and try making these simple treats. And who would guess that they are packed with fiber and are low in calories?



4 oz. dried apricots
4 oz. dried figs
4 oz. dried plums (prunes)
6 oz. toasted slivered almonds
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp. fennel seed
1/4 tsp anise
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp carraway
pinch of salt
coarse sugar for rolling (or try nuts or coconut)

1. Toast almonds. Place bowl to cool when done. Toast fennel, anise, cardamom, and carraway until fragrant. Place in medium mixing bowl with powdered sugar. Set aside.

2. Pulse dried fruit and toasted almonds in food processor 20-25 times or until tiny pieces. Make sure mixture does not form a ball.

3. Add fruit and nut mixture to sugar and seeds. Pour in honey and add pinch of salt. With gloved hands (or sandwich baggies over hands) mix all ingredients until well incorporated and all sugar is dissolved. Roll mixture into 1/4 oz balls or about 1 inch balls then roll in coating and place on parchment until ready to serve.

Makes about 2 dozen

Adapated from: Alton Brown

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