Gran’s Bourbon Balls

Bourbon balls have long been a signifier of family gatherings for me, ever since I was a small child and they were placed on a counter just out of my reach.  (Because the alcohol doesn’t cook off, you may want to do the same for the cookie-grabbing small children in your household.)  This is a no-bake recipe, so it’s easy to whip up at short notice, and the bittersweet blend of cocoa, bourbon, and sugar makes for a wonderful welcome to your visitors, especially if you pair it with tea, coffee, or even a cocktail.  For a black licorice twist, try adding a pinch of freshly milled Star Anise.


  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup + ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 ½ cups crushed vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup broken pecans


  1. In medium bowl, sift together 2 tbsp cocoa and 1 cup powdered sugar. In small bowl, combine bourbon and corn syrup.
  2. Mix together sugar and bourbon mixtures.
  3. Add vanilla wafers and pecans to sugar/bourbon mixture and mix thoroughly. Roll the mixture into small balls and dredge in the remaining ½ cup powdered sugar.

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