It's true. That sugarplum vision dancing in your head may not necessarily contain any plum. Mark another tally into the book of mythology and misdirection. If there wasn't egg in the eggnog and fruit in the fruitcake, I might lose all faith in tradition.
That said, a sugarplum in the right hands is not prohibited from contact with plums. It just so happens that the word "sugarplum" has changed from a sugary little fruit to a sugary little treat.
Here's the recipe you see in the photo above.
Sugarplums! (Makes about 20 sugarplums)
Chopping the almonds and fruits beforehand won't be necessary if you have a food processor. These treats keep well in a tin or a pretty box lined with parchment or wax paper and make a nice gift. They might last up to a month, but you shouldn't need to find out, since they're tasty and tend to disappear...
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
6 oz dried figs (or dried prunes), roughly chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp almond extract
about 1/2-3/4 cup turbanado sugar (for rolling)
Combine toasted almonds, chopped fruits, cinnamon, cocoa and almonds in a food processor or mash with a mortar and pestle. Mix until blended and paste-like. Add the honey, orange zest and extract. Pulse or stir until well mixed. Pour the sugar in a small bowl (cereal bowls and soup dishes work well). Scoop teaspoons of the fig paste and roll in your hands to form 1-inch balls. Roll balls in sugar.
Late breaking note: Leslie Harpold's excellent Advent Calendar also included a bit on sugarplums yesterday. Sugarplum Zeitgeist!