To make basic holiday rum balls, combine 1 1/4 cups vanilla wafer crumbs, 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup each of rum and corn syrup, then shape the dough into 1-inch balls.
When making holiday rum balls, make sure the vanilla wafers are crushed into very fine crumbs. Use a food processor or a blender if necessary. For the finely chopped nuts, most recipes call for pecans, walnuts or almonds. To add another dimension of flavor, toast the nuts in the oven before chopping them up. Additionally, some recipes call for cocoa powder for chocolate-flavored rum balls. Both dark and light corn syrup work for making rum balls.
Use an ice cream scoop to easily shape the rum balls. Typically, most recipes include dipping the rum balls in any number of toppings, such as melted chocolate, powdered sugar, cocoa powder or even sprinkles. If you dip the rum balls in melted chocolate, place them in the refrigerator on a baking tray to allow the chocolate to harden. Other topping options include toasted coconut flakes and crushed cookies. To store the rum balls, place them in an airtight container, and keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.