Kentucky Bourbon Balls

December 9, 2019
Spiked with bourbon deliciousness, Kentucky Bourbon Balls are a  true Southern Christmas classic.  Follow this simple recipe to whip up a batch of these easy no-bake treats -- it just wouldn't be the holidays without them!

Kentucky Bourbon Balls Made with Nilla Wafers and Pecans Imgage


Growing up, it  just wasn't Christmas in our house without a batch of Mom's Rum Balls.  Every year she'd whip up a batch of those tasty little treats, and every year I just couldn't wait until she did.  Rum Balls were always one of my absolute favorites at Christmastime.  And they still remain a favorite today.

Now that our family lives in the South, we've added the bourbon-spiked version of these festive little bites to our holiday line-up.  Because nothing says the South like bourbon!

Kentucky Bourbon Balls are packed full with finely chopped pecans and the full-bodied flavor of bourbon -- two Southern favorites that taste fabulous together.

I will admit that many bourbon ball recipes I've tried are seriously strong on the bourbon.  Like strong to the point that biting into each ball is like taking a shot.  I must also admit this "take a shot" experience is not one I really like when enjoying my bourbon balls.

Kentucky Bourbon Balls are packed full with finely chopped pecans and the full-bodied flavor of bourbon -- two Southern favorites that taste fabulous together.

So I played around with the recipes I found to tone the bourbon bite down just a bit.  Not take it away, mind you -- after all, bourbon flavor is the star of bourbon balls.  I wanted the bold flavor of bourbon -- just without the super-strong whisky burn.

I increased the ratio of filling ingredients to bourbon a little at a time, until after a few tries I had a flavor I was thrilled with.

The result of my tries?

A Kentucky Bourbon Ball that's sweet at first bite, and then finishes with the full-bodied flavor of bourbon.  All without giving the experience of "whiskey burn."  And it's a result our family loves and will keep on our Christmas cookie tray for many years to come.

Plate of Kentucky Bourbon Balls Image

Not only do Kentucky Bourbon Balls taste great, they're really easy to make, too.  You don't even have to heat up the oven -- because these tasty little beauties are a no-bake sweet treat.

The bulk of bourbon balls' filling is made up of finely chopped pecans and a bit of surprise ingredient -- crushed vanilla wafers.  Vanilla wafers are very mildly flavored, and when crushed, provide great bulk in the filling without taking over the flavor.  They let the bourbon and pecans shine.

Kentucky Bourbon Balls Ingredients Image

To make a batch of bourbon balls, first very finely crush vanilla wafers and pecans.  A food processor makes super quick work of this step.

Give the vanilla wafers a few whirls in the food processor, and they'll be pulverized into fine crumbs in no time.  If you don't have a food processor, place the vanilla wafers in a zip-loc baggie and crush them with a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat mallet.

To make a batch of bourbon balls, first very finely crush vanilla wafers and pecans.  A food processor makes super quick work of this step.

For the pecans, place them in the food processor and use the pulse option to chop them.  Pulse the pecans until their finely chopped, but stop before they begin to get moist and start forming a paste.  You want chopped pecan "crumbs" -- not pecan butter.

Mix the chopped pecans and vanilla wafer crumbs with confectioners' sugar, a bit of corn syrup to help bind everything together, and of course -- bourbon.

How to Make Kentucky Bourbon Balls Image

Then form the mixture into small balls and roll each ball in a coating of confectioners' sugar.

I use a small cookie scoop to measure out each one, which helps keep all the bourbon balls about the same size.

Rolling Kentucky Bourbon Balls in Powdered Sugar Image

And that's all there is to it to whip up a batch of these truly Southern, truly delicious Kentucky Bourbon Balls!  Truly, super easy.

Store the finished bourbon balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  

Or, freeze them until you need them.  These little bites freeze beautifully, which means they can easily be made ahead of time well before the holiday season rush.

Inside of Kentucky Bourbon Balls Image

Then get ready to bite into the bourbon deliciousness!

Because Kentucky Bourbon Balls are packed full with pecans and the full-bodied flavor of bourbon -- two Southern favorites that taste fabulous together.  And believe me, they sure make for one totally fabulous holiday treat.

Check out these other delicious little-bite cookies:
Kentucky Bourbon Balls Image
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Bourbon balls recipe, recipes with bourbon, Christmas cookies, recipe made with Nilla Wafers
Cookies & Bars
Southern
Yield: about 40-48 pieces
Author:

Kentucky Bourbon Balls

Kentucky Bourbon Balls

Spiked with bourbon deliciousness, Kentucky Bourbon Balls are a true Southern Christmas classic. Follow this simple recipe to whip up a batch of these easy no-bake treats -- it just wouldn't be the holidays without them!
prep time: 1 hourcook time: total time: 1 H

ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 c. finely crushed vanilla wafers (about 4 cups of whole vanilla wafers)
  • 1 c. confectioner's sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. finely chopped pecans
  • 2 T. light corn syrup
  • 1/3 c. + 2 T. Kentucky bourbon
  • Additional 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar for rolling

instructions:

How to cook Kentucky Bourbon Balls

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine bourbon and the 1 cup confectioners' sugar.  Stir in corn syrup.
  2. Stir in vanilla wafer crumbs and pecans; mix until well combined. 
  3. Cover and chill 20 to 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  4. Form into small smalls (I use a small cookie scoop to measure out each one). Roll each ball in additional confectioner's sugar.
  5. Store in an airtight container.
TRACEY'S NOTES:
  1. These can be made in advance and stored in the freezer until needed.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Kentucky Bourbon Balls ~ Spiked with bourbon deliciousness, Kentucky Bourbon Balls are a true Southern Christmas classic. Follow this simple recipe to whip up a batch of these easy no-bake treats -- it just wouldn't be the holidays without them! #bourbon #bourbonballs #Christmastreats www.thekitchenismyplayground.com

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3 comments

  1. I like that the bourbon is more subtle in your recipe. I'm not a fan of a strong liquor taste either. Pinned

    ReplyDelete
  2. These were DELICIOUS! Thanks for great recipe -- flavor and consistency are wonderful. I was comparing recipes online and yours seemed the best to try -- glad we did! If South Your Mouth likes it, we usually do!

    ReplyDelete

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