These little gems have become well known from their very important cameo in the classic Christmas tale, and, even though they may conjure up images of sugar-covered plums in your mind, they actually have never contained any plums at all. “Plum” used to be a popular way to describe any dried fruit, but sugar plums usually contained a mixture of dates, apricots, or figs to achieve their sweetness.
1 cup raw almonds
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
½ cup chopped dried figs
½ cup chopped dried dates
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
2 tablespoons agave
½ cup confectioners sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 400°F and spread the almonds in an even layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, or until fragrant.
Place almonds, zest, figs, dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves into a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Add in the agave, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse again, until the mixture comes together easily. Pinch into 1-inch balls and roll in the confectioner’s sugar. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.
For a nut-free
variation, try these with toasted sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, or even flaked
coconut in place of the almonds.