Recipe of the Week – Chocolate Bourbon Balls

Christmas tunes, chilly weather, and twinkling lights all come with the inception of December. Another favorite that comes with the holiday season are the never-ending recipes to favorite dinners, drinks, and treats. Here is a positively festive addition to your holiday baking list that is sure to bring cheer and merriment to your home. In this simple yet delightful recipe, Nilla wafers, chocolate, pecans, and bourbon are shaped into little balls and then rolled in powdered sugar. Allowing room for creativity, you may switch the nuts and liqueur to whichever you prefer – perhaps, almonds and Frangelico, pistachios and Amaretto, or walnuts and Grand Marnier. Whichever you choose, have fun with it. Celebrate the holidays with family, friends, and all loved ones, and always remember to enjoy!

For my mom, who might stop this recipe at the Nilla wafers.


2½ cups vanilla wafer crumbs (Nilla)

½ cup powdered sugar, sifted

1 cup pecans, finely ground

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces

½ cup bourbon

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Granulated sugar, for rolling


Place cookie crumbs, powdered sugar and ground pecans in a large bowl and stir to combine. Melt the chocolate in the microwave (30 second increments at 50 percent power, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth).

Stir in the bourbon and corn syrup. Add the chocolate mixture to the dry mixture and stir well to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes. Place some granulated sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Roll the mixture between your palms into 1-inch balls then roll in the granulated sugar to coat. Place the balls in an airtight container, separating layers with aluminum foil or wax paper, and allow flavors to develop by sitting at room temperature overnight. Yields 50 bourbon balls.

One Response to "Recipe of the Week – Chocolate Bourbon Balls"

  1. Nadejda   March 1, 2013 at 6:37 am

    Hey Chef John! Please note that everything below is my hnseot opinion. I respect you as a chef and I don’t mean any ill will.. so please don’t take it that way 🙂 I tried your recipe on Friday/Saturday. I made a few mistakes but that was my own fault. Instead of whisking the eggs with the sugar before adding the liquids, I dumped everything in a bowl and mixed that together. It just took a little longer to combine everything. I also didn’t have any allspice on hand so I used nutmeg instead. The bread pudding itself turned out wonderful however the I didn’t like how the sauce came out. I made the sauce as directed but it must’ve been the corn syrup that gave it a not so pleasant after taste. I actually ended up using one of my friend’s recipes which I’ve included below. Bourbon sauce2 oz bourbon1 cup half and half3/4 cup brown sugar1 egg, beaten3 tbsp butterPut everything but the bourbon in a pan. Heat on low, stirring constantly until thickened. Add bourbon. Strain sauce to get rid of egg lumps. Sorry for the long comment.. but I hope this helps you out 🙂


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