I use the term "baking" loosely for this recipe, because there actually isn't any baking involved, which is great at Christmas time.
Christmas just isn't Christmas until you've stuffed yourself with delicious, delicious rumballs. They're a Christmas tradition in our family, and I made up a batch on Sunday to keep us going until December 25th (a day on which I'm already planning to wear something with as little elastic around the waist/stomach area as possible).
The great thing about rumballs is that if you are the kind of person who "can't" cook, you will definitely be able to master these. So, without further ado....
2 x 250 gram packets of Arnott's Marie biscuits (cookies to non-Australian readers - a very plain, sweet cookie)
2 x 395 gram tins of condensed milk
2 1/2 tablespoons of Bourneville cocoa
About three or four cups of desiccated coconut
Total prep and assembly time: about 45 minutes
Method (there's one thing I do that makes my rumballs extra delicious - see if you can figure out what it is....)
First you need to crush the Marie biscuits into almost-crumbs. I have a food processor, so I chucked them in there, one packet at a time and processed them for about 30 seconds or so each.
But if you don't have a food processor (and growing up we never did), you'll have to do it the old fashioned way - get a melamine mixing bowl and a meat mallet and start smashing. It's actually a good way to get out your Christmas shopping related anger (a lady STOLE MY CAR SPACE last Friday night at a surburban shopping mall). I totally could have used some meat mallet biscuit crushing action because I had A LOT of anger about that. Instead, I have a food processor, so I had to swallow my rage and smile like a repressed 1950s housewife.
I digress. Once you have crushed the biscuits, they should look like this:
Note that they're not completely crushed into crumbs. You want it to be half crumbs and half small pebble-like bits of biscuit because when the rumballs are made, there's nothing better than biting into one that has a bit of biscuit uncrushed inside it. Yum.
Transfer the crushed biscuits into a large mixing bowl, then get your cocoa out.
Pour the cocoa into the mixing bowl with the biscuit crumbs.
Then get a metal spoon and mix it in nicely.
Now it's time for the condensed milk. You may need to wait a minute while your sister gets a teaspoon and eats some condensed milk before you can pour it in. I'm not saying that's what happened to me this year, but let's just say some people really, really love eating condensed milk from the tin and in previous years someone has screeched at someone else to stop them eating it or there wouldn't be any left to use in the recipe.
Open both cans and pour it in to the biscuit and cocoa mix one tin at a time.
Then using the metal spoon (because the mixture is very dense and a wooden spoon can snap as you try and stir), mix the condensed milk in until the biscuits, cocoa and condensed milk are totally combined.
Make sure you get right down to the bottom of the bowl when you're mixing it all together. It should look something like the above picture.
Before you start assembling the rumballs, pour the coconut into a large container and get an empty baking dish so that you have an assembly line that looks like this:
Now the fun part (ladies, you may want to take off any jewellery you're wearing on your hands for this bit). Get teaspoons full of the mixture and roll it into a ball with your hands.
I usually make mine about half to three quarters of the size of a golf ball, but you can make them smaller or larger as you see fit.
Then, roll the uncoated rumball in the coconut and place in the empty baking tray.
Lather, rinse, repeat until all the mixture is used up. This recipe made me about 65 medium sized rumballs.
You now have a super delicious treat for the holidays!
If it's a hot day, you'll need to put the rumballs into the fridge for about 30 minutes to get them to set.
If it's not a hot day, you can transfer them from the baking tray straight into an airtight container and store them in the cupboard.
They're a great gift idea - get about 10 or 12 of them, wrap them in clear cellophane and tie it with red and green ribbon to give to neighbours, teachers, etc.
So, did you figure out my secret to making these rumballs extra delicious?
No actual rum is used!
Have you ever bitten into a rumball and alllllllll you can taste is coconut and rum? Yeah, that's gross and you've already committed to eating it, so you have to stand there and choke it down without pursing your lips in disgust. The solution? Don't use rum and all you'll have is chocolate-y, biscuit-y goodness.
But we still have to call them Rumballs.
Because if we just called them balls that would be weird.