My husband is from Louisville, Kentucky, home of the Derby, the Slugger, and, or course, bourbon! Yes, bourbon is a type of whiskey, but to be bourbon, there are several distinctions. I'll let you do your own research, since my post has nothing to do with the differences between whiskey and bourbon. My post has to do with Christmas, and how my mother-in-law makes Bourbon Balls every year for Christmas. In the past, I've been lazy and only made a few dozen sugar cookies (from gasp! a store-bought mix) and called it a day. Last year, when we were all alone for the first time on Christmas, I went all out, making all the family favorites and trying to make things extra festive so we wouldn't feel like everyone was so far away. Well, that, and I was hosting a Bunko party and needed some extra sweets to serve! My point is that I found a recipe for Bourbon Balls that were a huge success and put a smile on my husband's face! So this month I'll be featuring our favorite Christmas cookie recipes (well, except my very favorite since that recipe is a closely guarded family secret...sorry). I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
10 Tablespoons good Kentucky bourbon (my husband warns to not use Tennessee whiskey!)
6-8 ounces pecan halves (one for each ball)
2 pounds powdered sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
16 ounces unsweetened chocolate
paraffin (if you buy the box with the paraffin divided into 1/2-inch "cakes" you'll need one)
Soak the pecans in 4 tablespoons bourbon for 4 hours.
Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add bourbon by the tablespoon until you have a smooth fondant. Using a tablespoon as a scoop, roll fondant into balls. Lay balls in a single layer on wax paper (separate layers with wax paper between) and chill for 4 hours or overnight for easy dipping.
Melt chocolate and paraffin over a double broiler. Dip chilled balls into chocolate, using a fork to lift the balls out of the hot mixture. Place each piece on wax paper to dry, pressing a pecan half into the chocolate before it sets.
Keep bourbon balls chilled.
Makes 60-80 small pieces or about 3-3 1/2 dozen using a tablespoon-sized scoop.
Recipe adapted from The Congressional Club Cookbook, by The Congressional Club.