Jilly’s Rum/Kahlua Balls! OH YEAH!

If you’re like me the holidays bring out the baker in you. There’s just something so homey about being in the galley creating some yummy treats while listening to Christmas music. The tree, however large or small, is lit and outside the galley port light palm trees are swaying in the sunshine as masts are dancing back and forth with the ripples on the water.

img_0243-1Yes, a cruiser’s Christmas can be a bit different especially for those of you who are used to snow and elaborate decorations. I myself was always known as Ms. Christmas because I would spend weeks putting up decorations, planning parties and putting together the little touches that made everyone get into the spirit…even the scrooges of the group. Heck, my Christmas tree alone took a good eight hours to put up but it was fabulous when it was done. Or at least that’s what my friends said. And, I would spend 150 hours assembling my village and train set. Yes, I am a Christmas fanatic! Clark Griswold had nothing on me.

img_5404-1So, this is my second Christmas on the boat and I have to say, I’m enjoying not having to go through all the hassle of putting up elaborate decorations. Finally I’m getting to enjoy the holiday without all the work. Our tree took me about ten minutes to put up and maybe it took another five or so minutes to light the Palm tree and fishing poles. Voilá! Christmas decorations complete.

But, as nice as that is, I had to make at least one Christmas treat. We all know that pirates love their rum and when you combine rum and Kahlua, nuts, coconut and chocolate chips you end up with a treat that is truly a pirate’s dream!

I don’t like to use the oven much because as you all know, it just makes it hot in the cabin and while the weather here in México is quite nice right now, I want to enjoy it, not create more heat. My rum balls are easy to make and they are great to take to cruiser get togethers or to share with others. Hope you enjoy the recipe and more importantly, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) and a fabulous New Year!


  • 3 1/4 Cups Crushed Vanilla Wafers (1 Box)
  • 1/2 Pkg Brownie Mix (I use Ghiradelli Mix)
  • 1 cup Semi Fine Ground Walnuts…small pieces are okay but pieces too large will make it hard to form balls. (Pecans or Almonds work as well.)
  • 1 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut
  • 30 Ritz Crackers…Finely Crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 1/2 cup Mini Dark Chocolate Chips. The regular ones work fine but minis are better.
  • 2 Tablespoons Baking Cocoa
  • 1/3 Cup Rum
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua
  • 5 Tablespoons Honey
  • Additional Confectioners’ Sugar to roll balls in when done.


In a large bowl, combine the wafer crumbs, pecans, confectioners sugar, coconut, Ritz crackers, chocolate chips, brownie mix and cocoa.

img_5405-1Combine the rum, Kahlua, honey and water then stir into crumb mixture. Mixture should be moist but not wet. You can always add more crushed crackers or cookies if it seems to wet. Shape into 1-in. balls. Roll in additional confectioners’ sugar. Store in an airtight container. **Note that you can also roll them in crushed nuts, sprinkles or other finely ground goodies. I’ve even dipped them in white and dark chocolate to give them a nice hard outer coating. Lots of options for the creative cook.

Yield: 6 1/2 dozen 1” Balls

**Wait at least 48 hours to serve so the rum and Kahlua have time to reallyget infused into the mixture.

Sit back with a cocktail or some cocoa and enjoy a few as you savor the sights and sounds of paradise!

Until next time,







Author: Dan & Jilly

1 thought on “Jilly’s Rum/Kahlua Balls! OH YEAH!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.