Chocolate Bourbon Balls

An Easy Boozy Chocolate Candy

bourbon balls

This no-bake confection is particularly easy to make; it is a dump and mix sort of recipe. Versions of chocolate bourbon balls abound, some going back to the 1930’s. They all include cookie crumbs with alcohol to moisten. Older versions often use cocoa as the “chocolate” component. This recipe, with melted chocolate, is a newer, and richer, incarnation. These are particularly popular in the southeast where bourbon is a favored beverage and flavoring. Use a bourbon that you love to drink; we used Four Roses. While they typically appear around the winter holidays, there’s no reason not to make these year round. And as an added bonus these are sturdy enough for mailing and also keep quite well. Below is a picture taken during our taping at The Better Show. Watch the video of me making the balls.

bourbon balls on set

Adapted from Baker’s Field Guide to Christmas Cookies by Dédé Wilson. Published by Harvard Common Press.

Chocolate Bourbon Balls
Makes: Makes about 50 balls
  • 2½ cups very fine vanilla wafer crumbs (from Nabisco Nilla Wafers or similar cookie)
  • ½ cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup pecan halves, finely ground
  • 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup or Lyle’s Golden Syrup
  • Sugar, optional
  • Small fluted, paper cups (optional)
  1. Place cookie crumbs, confectioners’ sugar and nuts in a large bowl and stir to combine; set aside
  2. Melt the chocolate in microwave or top of double boiler. Stir in bourbon and corn syrup. Add chocolate mixture to dry mixture and stir well to combine. Let mixture sit for 30 minutes. Place some sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Roll mixture between your palms into 1-inch balls, then roll in sugar, if desired. Place balls in airtight container, separating layers with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and allow flavors to develop by sitting at room temperature at least overnight. You may first place them in small fluted, paper cups, if you like. Balls may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1½ months.

Bakepedia Tips

  • You can make rum balls by substituting dark rum for the bourbon or even try Grand Marnier or Kahlua for orange or coffee versions.


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