Bourbon balls are a chocolate covered confection that’s bite-sized, boozy, and no bake! Powdered sugar, butter and bourbon-soaked pecans are coated in dark chocolate for the ultimate holiday dessert for adults.
Unless I get a second wind between now and Monday, this is probably the last new recipe before Christmas hits. We’re winding down on wedding planning (53 days to go!), but we’ve gotten hit with a bunch of less-than-great news in the last couple weeks, and it’s kinda drained me emotionally.
Leslie of Christmases Past probably would have plowed through and made five more cookie recipes and stayed up until 3am to get them posted every day until the holiday… but Leslie of Christmas Present is a tired, tired hot mess and doesn’t want to pile on.
But the good news is that we’re going to finish things out with a boozy bang: Bourbon Balls.
Here’s the thing about bourbon balls: I love them so freaking much, but it’s one of those treats that you can really only eat one or two of before you are tapped out. They’re rich, they’re sweet, and the flavor is a kick in the mouth of delicious, delicious bourbon.
So if you don’t like bourbon… please don’t make them, eat them, and come back to comment and tell me you hated the bourbon flavor. Just… please. I know we’re all a bit crazed during the holidays, but let’s retain a little common sense.
And yes, that sort of thing does happen. “I made these double chocolate cookies tonight and YUCK! So chocolately!”
With the new house (that almost feels silly to say because we moved in eight months ago, but we still have practically nothing hanging on the walls and no curtains, so I feel like it’s still new) and our impending nuptials, we’ve been very lucky to have received so many wonderful gifts from friends and family to help us get situated and comfortable.
Thankfully this recipe is pretty simple, really – beat the butter, add the powdered sugar, add your bourbon-soaked pecans, and scoop into balls.
I’m one of those people that always thinks that this is going to be the time that I try to get perfectly round balls, and the chocolate coating is going to be only the amount needed to cover it and it won’t have any little chocolate feet. THIS IS THE TIME.
Well, guess what. This was, for the millionth time, not that time. It makes absolutely no difference in flavor, other than you have a little extra chocolate, but really who is complaining about that? I guess that person that commented that chocolate cookies were too chocolatey. But we don’t count them.
I like to line them up like a little army of liquor-fueled soldiers. You obviously don’t have to, but I like the presentation of it.
You can also stagger them, and try not to stare at my obviously awful candy dipping skills where all the lumpy chocolate is.\
Or you can just stick them on plates in close proximity for your guests to pluck from. Really crowd them in there, no breathing room allowed.
I don’t recommend piling them up on each other because there’s a chance you’ll pop their little pecan hats off, and that would be sad.
… and yes, I was speaking from experience.
I quickly ate a poor hat-less bourbon ball because I didn’t want it to suffer.
No matter how you serve them, make sure you’re not putting them next to a roaring fire or on top of an oven or something. Your chocolate will melt and it will just be a hot mess. Like, literally. A hot mess.
Your first bite is probably gonna punch you in the face a little bit, because the bourbon flavor is strong with these little guys. That will subside and be replaced by the smooth, creamy, sweet flavor of the filling and the light crunch of the chocolate coating. If you ask me, it’s seriously one of the greatest flavor combinations.
There’s always the dilemma of decision how to eat the pecan topper:
Do I pluck it off and eat it first? Do I try to bite it in half when I sink my teeth in for the first bite? Do I save it for the second bite? SO MUCH PRESSURE.
Do whatever feels right to you in the moment. Then maybe set a few aside for later so you can test the other methods and determine your favorite. Make note of it for the next time you make them, create some charts and graphs of your results, publish them online to share your bourbon ball eating tactics.
These chocolate covered confections are bite-sized, boozy, and no bake! Powdered sugar, butter and bourbon-soaked pecans are coated in dark chocolate for the ultimate holiday dessert for adults.
3/4 cup pecan halves, finely chopped
1/4 cup quality bourbon
30 pecan halves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
16 ounces dark chocolate melting wafers
In a small bowl, combine finely chopped pecans and bourbon and let soak for at least an hour, giving it a stir every now and then to make sure they’re all coated.
Optional, but encouraged: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place pecan halves in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a stand mixer or large bowl with a hand mixer(aff link), beat butter on high speed until creamy and fluffier.
Slowly add powdered sugar and beat to completely combine.
Add your soaked pecans/bourbon mixture (you can include any residual liquid if desired, you may just need some extra powdered sugar if it’s too soft) and mix on medium speed to combine.
Using a small cookie scoop(aff link) (about 2 teaspoons), measure out balls of dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour – if you’re going to leave them overnight, cover with plastic wrap to prevent them from dying out.
In a double boiler over low heat, melt your chocolate until smooth and use a candy dipper(aff link) (or toothpick or fork, whatever works best for you) to coat each ball completely. Place back on parchment lined baking sheet, immediately top with a pecan half, and let set.