Monday, December 10, 2007

Holiday recipe: Bourbon Balls!

One of the strangely wonderful perks of living in Lexington, KY, was that you were exposed to, and encouraged to make, all kinds of recipes featuring bourbon whiskey. Even church ladies would proudly present bourbon balls at holiday parties. Then, there was the egg nog – more than a dozen eggs, separated, a quart of heavy cream and a fifth of bourbon, plus enough sugar to keep you dancing for quite a while.

Here is the bourbon ball recipe given me by my mother. This year, I made it with dark rum, and it was goood, that way, too.

Kentucky Bourbon Balls

2 cups Vanilla Wafer crumbs (you can throw a boxful in a food processor, or do it the way we did at home: put 10 or so wafers in a plastic zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin. Either way, you want nice, fine crumbs)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa
3 Tbs corn syrup (I used the very dark this year & it was really good. I also ended up adding about another tablespoon to keep the balls forming at the end of the bowl)
1 cup finely chopped pecans
2 jiggers bourbon or dark rum
(1 jigger = 3 Tbs, or 1.5 oz, so you need 6 Tbs or 3 oz.)

Mix the ingredients together, mashing the crumbs into the syrup as evenly as you can. Shape into small balls. Dip the balls into

Vanilla extract
(Or imitation vanilla works well, too! You run through it!)

And then, roll each ball into

Powdered sugar

Set the finished balls on waxed paper in a container you can cover tightly til serving time. If this doesn't do its part to expand your librarian image into that of a good-time partyer, I can't help you.


Marie S. Newman said...

I remember my grandmother making these when I was a kid. They always were the first of the holiday treats to disappear!

flyingowl said...

if you are making bourbon balls and you want to cover them in chocolate how would you go about this? My mother and it have tried unsucessfully with both chips and chocolate that is specifically made to melt for these types of things. Any ideas??

Betsy McKenzie said...

That is a whole nother recipe -- not this one with Nilla Wafers. You need