The Dormouse asked me the other day what Sugar Plums were and I really didn't know. So I decided to make them with the girls for one of those Christmas memories that turns to be one of those things that seemed like a way better idea in your head than it is put into practice.

They're actually quite a bit simpler, but messier, than I'd expected. I got all the way through this recipe and was putting everything away feeling rather proud of myself for coming up with the means and opportunity to make something so quaint and old-world, when the FacePlace pointed out that there are no plums in this recipe for Sugar Plums. So I consulted Professor Google, my food anthropologist on staff, and learned that I was using the Quick Sugar Plum recipe, which curiously doesn't actually contain plums. The real recipe bore no resemblance to what I was making. Thanks FacePlace. Actually, the original, seventeenth-century Sugar Plum recipes do contain plums, but there's a lengthy process of poaching fruit in sugar syrup and then allowing it to steep for days, repeating the process until the fruit is completely saturated, and then drying it our over weeks. Knowing that, I'll take my plumless sugar plums, kthanxbye.

So if you want to learn how to make fake sugar plums, read on. I'll bet you could sneak some prunes in there and these would be just as authentic. If not, please consult Professor Google.

First you chop up a bunch of almonds, dates, apricots, orange zest and a few spices, then mix it up with honey until it's super sticky. Something like this:

Then you employ a couple sets of tiny hands that the owners don't mind getting sticky to roll the stuff into balls.

Roll those balls in powdered sugar.

Be very, very sure that all standards of health and sanitation are upheld and those hands stay out of the mouths they are attached to..... and whatever you do, don't let them eat an entire bowlful of powdered sugar.

Or not. Whatever.

Be ready to clean up when they get tired because it will happen sooner than you expect.

And then they will go about the good business of Decorating Your Sister as a Christmas Tree,

while you slave away in the kitchen. But at the end of it all, they'll be happy to help you eat the product.

Because consuming a bowlful of powdered sugar each wasn't near enough sweets for one afternoon.