Drunken sugar plums… over the course of my life I’ve performed in 100s of Nutcrackers during the holiday season, and I must say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a drunken sugar plum fairy. This may seem like a useless fact, but considering how much those Russians love their vodka, when it dawned on me, it seemed like a big deal.
This is the ultimate homemade treat for the beer and sweets lover in your life. You know when you bite into a cordial cherry and that goo oozes out and tastes amazing… this beer, plum, and chocolate combo create the same intoxicating affect.
It’s a tad time consuming and a tad messy, but totally worth the effort.
The original recipe called for brandy or orange juice, but you know I can’t let an opportunity to use beer pass me by. If you’ve never had the pleasure of drinking Dogfish Head’s monster of a beer 120, you gotta check it out. It’s almost cordial like, so I thought it would be perfect for these plums. If you are not using the 120, please don’t substitute another beer, you will not have the same result as it is far too distinctive of a beer.
Do yourself a favor and use good quality chocolate, and good quality prunes. I love these prunes from Sunsweet, they are super yummy!
The paste is a bit tricky, you might have to alternate the powdered sugar and butter to get the right consistency. You’ll want to chill it before molding around the plums. I stretched the paste into small discs and then molded around the plums, making sure the entire plum was covered.
I recommend doing the second dunk of chocolate, even though it says optional. Some of the liquid tends to want out, and the second dunk will prevent this from happening.
Drunken Sugar Plums
20 – 22 pitted dried plums
1 cup Dogfish Head 120, or brandy, or orange juice
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup light-colored corn syrup
2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
8 ounces chocolate-flavored candy coating, chopped
8 ounces bittersweet or milk chocolate, chopped
8 ounces milk chocolate, cut up (optional)
Place plums in a medium bowl. Pour beer over plums. Cover and let stand overnight. Drain.
Let plums stand on paper towels for 2 hours to drain thoroughly. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine butter and corn syrup; stir in powdered sugar. Knead mixture until smooth (chill if mixture is too soft to handle). Shape about 1 tablespoon powdered sugar mixture around each plum. Roll in palms of hands into smooth balls. Place coated plums on the prepared baking sheet. Chill for 1 to 4 hours or until firm.
In a medium heavy saucepan melt candy coating and bittersweet chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Line another baking sheet with waxed paper. Using a fork, dip plums one at a time into melted mixture, allowing excess to drip off. (Be sure to completely seal plums in melted mixture to prevent juice from leaking.) Place coated plums, on prepared baking sheet. Chill until the coating is set (1 to 2 hours).
If desired, line another baking sheet with waxed paper. Place about 2/3 of the milk chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave on 30 percent power for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until chocolate has started to melt (110 degrees F on an instant read thermometer). Add remaining chopped chocolate; stir until melted and smooth. (Temperature of the chocolate will drop to about 85 degrees F.) Reheat as needed for 10 seconds on 30 percent power. Dip half of each candy into the melted milk chocolate. Place on prepared baking sheet to set.
Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
From Better Homes and Gardens.