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Traditional Sugarplums

Updated: May 5, 2018

When I was a kid and we read The Night Before Christmas, I was wondered What The Heck Are Sugarplums??? I didn't get to solve this mystery until about two years back, when I went to Historic Richmond Town for a wonderful holiday Candlelight Tour. The reenactment ladies were serving the sugarplums to the guests and I was enthralled! What a delicious, spicy, chewy and crunchy confection! My mom and I agreed that we HAD to try to make our own. Since then, we have made them every year and added them to our annual Christmas Candy-Making Chaos (a few days of non-stop candy and cookie making). I hope you enjoy them!


6 oz slivered almonds, toasted

4 oz dried plums

4 oz dried apricots

4 oz dried figs

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 tsp. Anise seeds, toasted

1/4 tsp. Fennel seeds, toasted

1/4 tsp. Caraway seeds, toasted

1/4 tsp. Ground cardomom

Pinch kosher salt

1/4. Cup honey

1 cup coarse sugar


  1. Put almonds, plums, apricots and figs in the bowl of food processor and pulse 20-25 times or until fruit and nuts are chopped into small pieces, but before the mixture becomes a ball.

  2. Combine powdered sugar, anise, fennel, caraway seeds and cardamom and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add nuts and fruit mixture and the honey using gloved hands until well combined.

  3. Scoop mixture into 1/3 oz portions and roll into balls. Roll into coarse sugar if serving immediately. If not serving immediately, put the sugarplums on a cooling rack and leave uncovered until ready to serve. Roll in coarse sugar before serving.

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