Bourbon Balls

The sweet kick of bourbon in these confections will transport you straight to Kentucky. We dipped the pieces in a bittersweet chocolate coating and topped them off with crunchy pecan. The result is a Derby-worthy treat you can make and enjoy all year round. By Amanda Neal for Food Network Kitchen
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 25 bourbon balls
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Bourbon Balls:

3 1/2 cups vanilla wafer cookies (about 8 ounces), such as Nilla Wafers

1 1/4 cups pecan halves

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

1/4 cup bourbon

1/4 cup dark corn syrup

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch kosher salt


6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable shortening

25 pecan halves


  1. For the bourbon balls: Pulse the vanilla wafer cookies and pecan halves in a food processor until the mixture turns to fine crumbs. Add the cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, bourbon, corn syrup, vanilla and salt, then pulse until the mixture is thoroughly combined and holds together when squeezed.
  2. Scoop the mixture into 1-inch balls (each about 1 tablespoon; about 25 total) on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll each ball between the palms of your hands so they’re smooth and compact. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill and firm up slightly, about 10 minutes. 
  3. For the coating: Meanwhile, put the chocolate and oil in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high, stirring halfway through, until completely melted and smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes.  
  4. Working one a time, use 2 forks to gently lower each bourbon ball into the chocolate mixture, turning to make sure the entire ball is coated. Let any excess chocolate drip off, then return to the baking sheet. Top with a pecan half. Return to the refrigerator until the chocolate is just set, about 5 minutes.  
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