Red Velvet Rum Balls

I was having one of those days where I was really jonesing to make something but I knew that I should be studying instead. In an attempt to compromise, I chose to make these red velvet rum balls: they don’t take a lot of care or attention, can be done in stages, and require such little thought that I could recite test material in my head while I shape the balls. And of course, nothing like the waft of rum to ease my tense nerves.

I happened to have a box of red velvet cake mix bought a long time ago, in the event of situations like these. Making the cake was easy enough, and mashing it up was kind of fun too. This recipe is no-bake too, so it’s probably kid/kitchen-noob friendly.

If you have never made rum balls before, you would probably freak out when you taste some of the rum-infused balls right after you add the rum. I definitely did. It tasted very strongly of rum, and I tried everything I could to make it less strong. Initially, I only used 1/2 the cake and 1/2 cup of rum, and after realizing that snacking on these rum balls could probably knock me out, I proceeded to add the next half the cake, 1/3 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of white chocolate chips. After lots of Googling, I realized that the rum balls mellow out if you let them sit, uncovered. The alcohol evaporates, and all you’re left is a subtle alcoholic flavor.

I coated the rum balls in dulce de leche, which I made out of milk that was past its expiry date. Note: homemade dulce de leche is a great way to use up milk especially if it’s starting to smell/taste a little bit off. The sugar/caramelization takes care of any rancidness and I’m sure the heat kills off any potential germs. I made some rum balls with a chocolate coating, some with a dulce de leche coating, and some with dulce de leche THEN chocolate. The dulce de leche coating was certainly quite messy to apply but it made the rum balls so much better. I realize that the dulce de leche coating sort of seeps into the rum ball, making it moister and sweeter.

Don’t you want to put the whole thing in your mouth and feel the textures dance on your tongue? Noms.

Red Velvet Rum Balls
Makes at least 50, I didn’t count

1 red velvet cake from mix, prepared (I used Duncan Hines and did the low-fat version; thought it was ok)
1/2 cup rum
1/3 cup white sugar
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups dulce de leche (I used Alton Brown’s recipe here, you probably could leave it out or sub with caramel coating from here)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Crumble cake with a fork. Add sugar and rum, mix well. Mix in white chocolate chips. Shape into little balls, approximately 1-inch in diameter. Coat in dulce de leche, and then stick it in the freezer for half an hour or whenever you feel like it. The dulce de leche; in my experience, doesn’t really freeze anyway. Melt the chocolate chips and coat the balls. Chill in the fridge.

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