The sweet rice balls turn rice pudding into a handheld rice ball dessert. If you love rice pudding, you have to try these adorable snowballs!
I’ve never seen rice pudding on display at a party dessert table. I attribute this to two factors: 1. Rice pudding ain’t pretty. 2. Rice pudding requires the commitment of a bowl and a spoon.
With my sweet rice ball recipe, rice pudding can finally move from the shadows to an esteemed position as a hand-held party dessert.
The secret to rice pudding snowballs lies in making a rice pudding that is a bit more dense than usual – it has to be able to stick together. Taking a cue from Martha Stewart’s Recipe for Rice Pudding Balls, my recipe uses Arborio rice, a particularly starchy variety. I also add less liquid than I would for a typical rice pudding.
You can flavor your snowballs with whatever spice blend you prefer in your rice pudding. I am a huge fan of kheer (Indian rice pudding) and flavored my rice pudding snowballs accordingly, with coconut milk and lots of cardamom, pistachios, raisins, and almonds.
If you don’t care about the rice ball dessert looking like snowballs, you can experiment with rolling rice pudding balls in nuts, cocoa powder, or even a glaze (topped with sprinkles).
Sweet Rice Balls
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup pistachios finely chopped
- 1/4 cup almonds finely chopped
- 2 13.5 ounce cans full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- In a medium-sized heat-resistant bowl, mix raisins, pistachios, and almonds. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat, bring coconut milk, milk, sugar
- cardamom, and salt to a boil, whisking to fully combine.
- Add rice and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir regularly, being certain to scrape the bottom of the pan to ensure that the rice doesn't stick to the pan and burn. Cover when not stirring to retain moisture. Cook for 30-35 minutes or until the liquid is nearly gone and the rice is thoroughly cooked (taste test it - you know you want to!). There may be a little clear liquid that doesn't get absorbed by the rice. This is extra coconut oil and it will mix into the rice pudding as it cools and help it to stick together, so don't worry about it.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl of raisins and nuts. Mix thoroughly.
- Cover and chill for at least two hours.
- Scoop rice pudding balls (I made mine about 2 tablespoons per ball) and roll balls in shredded coconut.
- Refrigerate for up to 4 days if not eating immediately.