No matter what visions of sugar plums you might have dancing in your head …I would like to suggest the following … a no-bake holiday treat made with dried fruits, nuts and fragrant spices. More specifically, how about a recipe for No Bake Almond Date Apricot Sugar Plums.
I’m guessing this is not the vision of sugar plums that you may have had …but I assure you, this one is worth exploring …and the best part -this recipe comes together in under 30 minutes.
It all starts with some roasted almonds. I don’t know about you, but we can easily go through that big bag of Costco almonds in one month. Homemade Almond Butter, Cocoa Dusted Almonds and of course the Almond Biscotti are just a few of the recipes that I make on a monthly basis. And with the holidays quickly approaching …well we usually consume a lot more almonds!
So, once you have coarsely chopped up the roasted almonds, it’s simply a matter of measuring and chopping up the other ingredients. In actual fact, I prefer to use my kitchen shears to “cut” the dates and the apricots before I place them in my food processor. In the past, I have tried using my knife to give them a quick chop but due to the nature of these wonderfully sticky foods, it’s a cleaner cut with the shears.
Place all of your ingredients in your food processor and pulse until your mixture forms a clump; transfer this fragrant mixture and with the use of the smallest scooper, it’s time to dish out some sugar plums.
With damp hands, roll each section into a 1 inch ball.
Once this is complete, roll each individual ball in some coarse sugar. Feel free to make smaller or bigger balls. You can also roll these No Bake Almond Date Apricot Sugar Plums in icing sugar, desiccated coconut or for more decadence, chocolate. Today, I decided to use turbinado sugar.
See how easy that was! When I am ready to serve them, I like to place these little glitter balls in festive truffle liners.
I found the original recipe for these No-Bake Almond Date Apricot Sugar Plums in a Canadian magazine called Homemakers. Unfortunately, this magazine is no longer in publication, but for the decade or so that I had my subscription, I picked up some wonderful recipes. After so many years, they are still appreciated by family and friends.
The original recipe did not include any spices. So I added a hint of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg along with the zest of an orange.
I was initially drawn to this recipe for a couple of reasons:
1-It’s a no-bake recipe (with the exception of the roasted almonds);
2-Offers a slightly healthier option when included in your cookie platter;
3-Can be made in less than half an hour;
4-These No Bake Almond Date Apricot Sugar Plums make fantastic hostess gifts;
5-As long as you keep the proportions of nuts and dried fruit constant, you can easily swap some of the ingredients. Dried cranberries, raisins, prunes, walnuts, etc …are all wonderful alternatives.
6-They can be made well ahead of the holiday rush and frozen. When putting your Holiday platter together, it’s just a question of removing them from the freezer and rolling them in some glittery sugar. How convenient is that!
My holiday cookie platter would not be complete without these chewy, fragrant Sugar Plums.
No Bake Almond Date Apricot Sugar Plums
- 1 cup almonds coarsely chopped and roasted (about 140 grams)
- 1 cup dates chopped (about 140 grams)
- 1 cup dried apricots chopped (about 140 grams)
- 1½ teaspoon orange zest finely grated
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ground
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice ground
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar or more for rolling
- In a food processor, combine the roasted almonds, dates, apricots, orange zest and spices.
- Cover and pulse until mixture is transformed into a paste.
- Roll mixture into a 1 inch diameter balls (about 1½ tablespoon).
- Roll balls in sugar.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or can be frozen (WITHOUT rolling in the sugar) for up to 3 months.