Sweet treats for Christmas

DISPLAY in a pretty cocktail glass, to make yummy rum balls a Christmas centre-piece. Picture KATH GANNAWAY 91085_01


Displayed in a festive bowl on the Christmas table, or boxed up as a gift, these Christmas rum balls and rosewater jellies are sweet treats that will be appreciated by homes in Sunbury and the Macedon Ranges either way.

Christmas rum balls (with a healthy twist!)

1/2 cup almonds in their skins

2 tbs carob or cocoa

1 tbs vanilla essence

2 tbs rum (optional)

1 cup dates

1 cup sultanas

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup dessicated coconut

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until mixture sticks together in a sticky ball.

Remove from processor and mould into balls with your hands.

Roll in the coconut

Store in refrigerator.

You can vary the taste and texture by substituting half a cup of the rolled oats for half a cup of crushed ginger-nut biscuits.

Note: You will need a food processor with a bit of grunt for this recipe.

Rosewater jellies

2 tbs gelatine

2 cups castor sugar

1 cup water

1/2 tsp citric or tartaric acid

2 tsp rosewater essence

Red food colouring

1/2 cup pure icing sugar

1/4 cup cornflour

Grease and line a 25 x 7.5 x 4.5cm deep bar tin with baking paper. Whisk gelatine in 3/4 of a cup of cold water until well combined. Stand for five minutes or until the gelatine is soft.

Place castor sugar, water and gelatine mixture in a saucepan and stir until the sugar and gelatine are dissolved and the liquid comes slowly to the boil. Simmer for between 15 and 20 minutes or until the mixture is thick and syrupy.

Remove saucepan from the heat and add the citric or tartaric acid, rosewater and one to two drops of food colouring to the pan. Stir until well combined. Pour into the tin and set aside to cool.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for eight hours or until set.

Sift icing sugar and cornflour onto a flat surface and turn out the jelly onto the mix.

Use a wet knife to cut the jelly into uniform pieces. Roll each piece in the icing mix until coated all round.