December 21, 2020

Chocolate Bourbon Balls

Chocolate Bourbon Balls! Ginger spiced chocolate bourbon balls rolled in powdered sugar. A easy no-bake cookie for the holidays!
Makes ~30 balls

Chocolate Bourbon Balls! This easy bourbon ball recipe is perfect for holiday gifting. 

I shared this bourbon ball idea on Instagram a few weeks ago, and the response for a recipe was overwhelming — so I decided to officially put them in a blog post. Funny, I’ve eaten these bourbon balls since I was a teenager — a staple of my mom’s Christmas Cookie roundup. The balls were one of the few times my mom pulled out hard liquor and I remember asking her when I was in high school if she thought it was OK if I drove after eating a few. Ha! We clearly didn’t have much alcohol around the house. 

These easy bourbon balls are so simple that they don’t even seem like a recipe. Crush the cookies and pecans, mix with chocolate, syrup, bourbon and butter then roll in powdered sugar. If you’re looking for something that’s easy to gift, easy to make and always a hit then you’ve gotta try these chocolate bourbon balls. 

Easy Bourbon Balls Bourbon Balls Recipe

Tips for making the Best Bourbon Balls

This recipe has been in my family for so long that the original is scribbled in my grandmother’s handwriting on a 3×5 notecard. Since I’m terrible at keeping track of anything, I actually took a photo of the recipe to save on my phone. 

That recipe is a little different than the one posted below, though I think my tweaks are improvements. For starters, the original recipe calls for vanilla wafers, but I prefer using a base of ginger snaps for a richer depth of flavor. You can use vanilla wafers if you like or do as my mom does which is one cup of each. 

Bourbon balls are of course made with bourbon, but I don’t like to have such a bite with my balls so I’ve cut down the bourbon by a few tablespoons. My grandma’s recipe contains 1/3 cup of bourbon, but I think 3-4 tablespoons is plenty. 

Chocolate Bourbon Balls

How to Make Bourbon Balls

The trick is in the texture. When I was a kid, we’d make these by placing the cookies into a sealed ziplock bag and pounding away at it with a rolling pin. These days, I use my food processor. As you can see in the photos below, there should still be some texture but overall fairly crumb-like. 

After you’ve blitzed the cookies and pecans, place them in a large bowl and add in melted butter, corn syrup, cocoa powder and bourbon! The original recipe calls for light corn syrup, which is what I recommend. If you don’t have any on hand, then you can sub in agave nectar instead. Maple syrup isn’t tacky enough so I don’t recommend using that. To keep these vegan, use a melted butter like Earth Balance. 

I prefer to start with 3 tablespoons of bourbon, then add more to taste. Remember that you are rolling these balls in powdered sugar so the base won’t be very sweet. Taste, then add more bourbon if you wish. The mixture should be very sticky; if it’s too dry, add more melted butter. Too wet, then add in more crushed cookies and pecans.  

Roll into balls, then roll into powdered sugar! The best part about this bourbon ball recipe is that you can make a few dozen cookies in less than 20 minutes– no baking required! 

 

Chocolate Bourbon Balls

bourbon ball recipes

Bourbon Balls Recipe

Can Bourbon Balls be frozen? 

I love these most out of the freezer! As the bourbon doesn’t freeze the balls all the way, they are chilled yet still easy to bite. If I had to choose whether to eat them at room temperature or out of the freezer, I’d choose the freezer! I usually keep them in there for the better part of December and grab one or two after dinner most nights. 

Does it matter which type of bourbon I use? 

My mom will tell you to use the cheapest bourbon for these, but I prefer something that I’d like to drink as yes, you can taste the bourbon. I’m partial to a Jack Daniel’s whiskey, but any bourbon will do. Obviously, save the expensive stuff for drinking and the cheaper stuff for baking these bourbon balls! 

Easy Bourbon BallsBourbon Balls RecipeChocolate Bourbon Balls

I love gifting these bourbon balls for the holidays! They are such an unexpected treat and look gorgeous in a little box– by themselves or with other Christmas cookies! I gifted them this year alongside my molasses cookies, pizzelles and my chocolate peppermint cookies.

Hope you love this bourbon ball recipe as much as my family does! If you try it, make sure to come back and rate it and leave a comment. Your feedback helps other readers and seeing you make my recipes makes my day! 

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Chocolate Bourbon Balls

Chocolate Bourbon Balls

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: ~30 balls
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: no bake
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Chocolate Bourbon Balls! This easy bourbon ball recipe is perfect for holiday gifting. 


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: ~30 balls
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: no bake
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: ~30 balls
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: no bake
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boxed ginger snaps (or vanilla wafers)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter (dairy-free, for vegan version)
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar or light corn syrup
  • 34 Tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Place the ginger snaps and pecans in the base of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. See photo above for reference.
  2. Place in a large bowl and add in the melted butter, cocoa powder, syrup, and bourbon. I usually start with 3 tablespoons and then add in another tablespoon if needed/desired. The base isn’t very sweet, but you will roll these in powdered sugar to help balance.
  3. Place the powdered sugar in a rimmed plate or bowl. Set aside.
  4. Scoop 1 tablespoon of mixture and roll into a ball, then roll into the powdered sugar. Continue with the rest of the batter.

Notes

  • My Mom’s original recipe calls for 1/3 cup of bourbon, which I’ve always found to be a little too potent for my tastes. Therefore, I’d reduced it to 3 tablespoons or 1/4 cup, depending on preference.
  • These store in the fridge for about a week. I prefer to store them in the freezer; because of the alcohol they don’t freeze all the way and are a delicious after-dinner dessert.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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  1. YUM! I wasn’t a fan of rum balls before, but I tried this recipe with bourbon and now I think I’m addicted! This is definitely going into my cookie gift box this holiday.