December 9, 2010


Bourbon balls – love ’em or hate ’em. Really, there is no middle ground when it comes to boozy cookies. This I have learned after years of baking and giving. Me? I’m in the love ’em camp.

There is one secret to a good boozy cookie. Let them develop. They’ll be far less boozy on day one. On day three – it’s like a cocktail in cookie form, without bothering to go to your neighborhood bar.

I’ve used Martha Stewart’s Rum Ball recipe for years, but have developed a taste for bourbon lately, so decided to play around a little.

Result? *hic* Delicious. And after that citrus post, you’ll be thrilled to hear this takes about an hour from beginning to end. Use the very best bourbon you can.

These bourbon balls hold beautifully – for at least two weeks.

Since making these, I’ve been dreaming up other combinations – Creme de Menthe/Creme de Cocoa and crushed candy canes on the outside? Scotch and toffee? Gin and ??

And if you are craving a rum ball, just substitute excellent dark rum for the bourbon and roll in sanding sugar.

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Bourbon Balls
adapted from Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies

PAM or other vegetable oil cooking spray
3/4 c unsalted butter, cut up
6 oz semisweet chocolate
3 lg eggs
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
3/4 c AP flour
3 oz excellent bourbon
1 c pecans
OR Coarse sanding sugar
OR Both!

Preheat the oven to 350° and spray a baking sheet (12 x 17) with the PAM.

Spread the pecans out on another baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Chop fine. Set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter over a double boiler.

Whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla and salt until frothy. Stir in the chocolate mixture.

Sieve the flour into the batter, to get all the lumps out, then fold it in until you can no longer see any white streaks.

Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Allow the cookie/brownie to cool, then break it up into smaller pieces into the bowl of your electric mixer. Add the bourbon and beat until it all comes together into a ball.

Form balls – using a scoop keeps them uniform. I keep them small – about 1″. Roll in the pecans to coat. Alternatively, you can coat in sanding sugar, or combine nuts and sugar for the coating.

Chill on a sheet pan in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, then store in an airtight container between sheets of wax paper in the refrigerator.

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16 Responses to “bourbon + chocolate + pecans = cookie”

    • Cathy

      I’ll use whatever chocolate I have in the house – which could range from Baker’s to Ghiradelli to Scharfenberg to couverture. In this case, I used Ghiradelli.

      Reply
  1. Marilyn

    The recipe sounds delicious but I find myself facinated with that cute little measuring cup from which you’re pouring the bourbon. What brand is it?

    Reply
    • Cathy

      Hi Marilyn – That’s an Oxo 2 ounce measure. It keeps my Manhattans reasonably sized, too. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Jaye

    for the love of Pete…..where do I find sanding sugar? What is sanding sugar?? Those look fabulous!

    Reply
    • Cathy

      Sanding sugar is coarser than granulated and really sparkles. You can find it at exhorbitant prices at William Sonoma and Sur La Table. King Arthur sells it on their website at a slightly less exhorbitant price.

      Reply
  3. Jess

    Great recipe! I made these for the holidays, following the recipe exactly and using Knob Creek bourbon. They were definitely a success at the party.

    I noticed that the recipe didn’t mention a yield, so I wanted to add that I ended up with about 60 balls, at 1″ or a little smaller.

    Reply
  4. dbG

    Delicious. I used Maker’s Mark.

    Once I’d rolled them, I put them in little foil cups and stowed the cups, single-layered, in plastic containers. Stacked them to refrigerate, which seemed handier than trying to fit a tray in my refrigerator.

    Thanks for a great recipe.

    Reply

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