“Visions of sugar plums” and the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” certainly bring on the essence of Christmas. We know the stories by heart. The iconic tales of The Night Before Christmas and the Nutcracker ballet mention sweet sugar plums. What are sugar plums? These edible treats do exist! Let’s make them more apart of our holiday season.
These candy gems were (of course) inspired by the classic stories, but we first saw a recipe for them a few years ago. Riffling through old cookbooks at our mom’s house one Christmas, we came across a newspaper clipping from over 30 years ago. The clipping was for a very simple recipe: sugar plums. Our hearts were set on creating this nostalgic candy for modern times. With a vintage flair and an intense flavor, these are just as special as we imagined them to be!
These candied plums are not as sweet as other holiday fare, and definitely not as common, but their sweet spiced bites are full of flavor so charming they are bound to become a December tradition. When the hustle and bustle of the holidays is in full swing, rest your mind knowing these can be made in advance, are naturally sweetened and are completely vegan. They are pretty enough to be included with favorite dishes besides the pies, cookies and eggnog yet their healthy ingredient list is worth some extra celebration. They are absolutely one of the most magical treats you’ll eat this season.
Healthy Sugar Plums
1/2 cup gently packed Prunes
1/3 cup Dried Apricots
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries (homemade or store-bought)
2/3 cup Walnuts
1 teaspoon Orange Zest
1/3 cup Agave or Raw Honey
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
¼ teaspoon Coriander
1/4 teaspoon Pink Sea Salt
1/4 cup Xylitol or Erythritol for rolling
1/2 teaspoon Flour or Cornstarch
In a food processor, combine the dried prunes and apricots until fruits are chopped and mixed. Add the walnuts, cranberries, orange zest and honey. Mix until incorporated and mixture begins to come together. Add the vanilla and spices and mix until almost smooth. Mixture will be sticky. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before assembling.
Pour xylitol or erythritol in a shallow bowl with flour and mix. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon amount of mixture and roll into smooth spheres, roll in xylitol or erythritol. Repeat until all sugar plums are rolled. Serve right away or store covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
NOTE: The flour or cornstarch helps the sweetener not to dissolve into the sugar plums so please do not skip this ingredient. For prettiest appearance, roll sugar plums in sugar right before serving.