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Brandy Sugarplums

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields about 24

Reminiscent of gingerbread cookie dough, these sweet, no-bake treats are balanced by dried cranberries and a good amount of salt and brandy.


  • 1-1/2 oz. (1/3 cup) chopped dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 5-3/4 oz. (1-1/4 cup) crushed gingersnap cookies
  • 5 oz. (1-1/4 cup) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2-3/4 oz. (3/4 cup) toasted chopped walnuts
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 200
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 80
  • Fat (g): 9
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 10
  • Sodium (mg): 115
  • Carbohydrates (g): 26
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 2


  • In a medium bowl, soften the cranberries in the brandy for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the gingersnap crumbs, 1 cup of the sugar, 1/4 cup of the walnuts, the butter, and 1/4 tsp. of the salt. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, combine the remaining walnuts, sugar, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a food processor and pulse until the texture of coarse sand, about four 1-second pulses. Transfer to a shallow bowl.
  • Scoop the mixture by the rounded teaspoonful, then roll into 1-inch balls with your hands. Roll the balls in the walnut-sugar mixture to coat, put on a rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 2 weeks.


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Reviews (1 review)

  • DLPF | 01/01/2018

    Cookie Catastrophe, or how I came to make these cookies.
    I spent one Saturday before Christmas mixing up some of my favorite cookie doughs, including clove snaps, ginger crackles, my Mom's cut-out cookies, lemon lime wafers and lime nut buttons. Next day I started baking. Pulled a bowl with dough out of the fridge. Oh, this must be the clove snaps. Started rolling them out. Dough seemed quite soft, but no matter, I just piled on more flour and cut them into Christmas shapes. They spread out a lot when baking, so I adjusted the oven temp. Not quite what I remembered. And the texture wasn't quite as dense. Finished baking, on to the next batch. Late in the day I was searching for more dough and pulled out a chunk wrapped in wax paper. Ohhhhhh... These are the clove snaps. What did I bake? The ginger crackles, that were supposed to be drop cookies, soft and chewy. Now they're sort of double ginger snaps. Darn. What to do? Searched through other Fine Cooking magazines and came across Brandy Sugarplums that use ginger snaps. It was one of those serendipitous events -- these brandy sugar plums are AWESOME. After they sit for a day, they melt in the mouth. Intense flavor. Everyone raves. Definitely a keeper for next year, although I'll probably skip the bake-my-own-gingersnap step.

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