Sugarplum Christmas Candy
1/2 cup pitted dates (coarsely chopped)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts (coarsely chopped)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup prunes (finely chopped)
1/4 cup toasted skinned hazelnuts (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons cherry preserves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup sugar
Place the chopped dates, walnuts, cranberries, prunes, and hazelnuts in a food processor. Pulse the mixture a few times. Add the cherry preserves, cinnamon, and cloves and pulse several more times until the mixture begins to come together. It should hold itself in a ball when you squeeze it between your fingers. You want to retain some of the coarse texture. Do not over process it into a sticky paste.
Roll the candy into 1 inch balls, then roll the balls in the granulated sugar until they are fully covered with sugar.
Store the finished sugarplums in an airtight container between layers of waxed paper until you are ready to serve them. Sugarplums can be kept refrigerated for up to one month.
Makes about 24 servings.
As a parent and former teacher, I have attended The Nutcracker Ballet and listened to its music a number of times. This recipe can be used to start a fun tradition of eating sugarplum candy afterwards.