Pecan Bourbon Balls
Santa deserves a treat this year, too! These Pecan Bourbon Balls make for an easy holiday party treat or a fun addition to a cookie plate. Cheers!
I’ve heard it said many times that you should never cook with a wine that you wouldn’t drink. Well this recipe is proof that the same rule applies to cooking with bourbon. Like wine, the world of bourbon is quite nuanced – some are mild and mellow, others are hot and spicy.
I’ve mentioned before that Laura and I are big bourbon collectors. We enjoy hunting for those elusive bottles. They say every couple has their “thing.” I guess bourbon collecting is ours. So when I went down to the bourbon collection to pull out a bottle for these Pecan Bourbon Balls, I had a choice to make. What kind of bourbon should I use?
I didn’t want to go with anything super rare. I’m sure it would have been delicious, but those bottles are saved for drinking neat…or perhaps with a drop or two of water. They’re meant to be savored. I ended up going with a single barrel store pick of Old Elk. It’s a tasty bourbon that Laura and I have enjoying a lot lately. These Pecan Bourbon Balls are delicious – and the flavor of the specific bourbon that you use really does shine through.
Pecan Bourbon Balls
Bourbon balls are a classic holiday party item. They’re bite-sized. They’re easy to make. And one recipe produces a whole tray of bourbon balls. (I get ~64 out of this recipe.) They’re the kind of treat that you stand around eating while talking to friends…and then realize you’ve eaten 7 of them. Oops.
One of the best things about bourbon balls is the simplicity of the recipe. Chopped pecans, bourbon, butter and powdered sugar. That’s it. I chose to melt some chocolate for this batch, but you could easily roll ’em in powdered sugar or finely chopped pecans. I recommend the chocolate approach though – chocolate makes everything better, right?
If you’re looking for a tasty treat that is perfect for holiday gatherings, then keep these bourbon balls in mind! Cheers!
Did you make a batch of these Pecan Bourbon Balls at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Pecan Bourbon Balls
For the Filling
- 1¼ cups finely chopped pecans divided
- 5 Tbsp bourbon whiskey
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
For the Glaze
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 10 oz. semisweet chocolate finely chopped
For the Filling
- Using a medium bowl, add 1 cup of finely chopped pecans and all of the bourbon. Stir until well combined; cover and let rest for 1 hour. (Note: The remaining ¼ cup of pecans will be used as garnish.)
- Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and confectioner’s sugar until smooth.
- Add pecan-bourbon mixture and stir until well combined.
- Using ½ Tbsp measuring spoon, scoop out the mixture and shape into ~1” balls. Place balls on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until firm.
For the Glaze
- Using a double-boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water), add chocolate and butter. Heat, stirring often, until butter has fully melted and mixture is smooth. Remove glaze from heat.
- Using a toothpick, dip each ball into the glaze. Place glazed bourbon ball back onto wax paper and sprinkle top with chopped pecans before glaze hardens. Repeat until all filling mixture has been used.
- Let bourbon balls sit until glaze has fully set.
Looking for more recipes with bourbon? Check out these other favorites, too:
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I usually made cake-based pecan bourboun balls with brownies as they are less sweet. Still these look terrific and sound tasty. And chocolate is a must in my book. It balances a bit the sweetness and is perfectly paired with all the flavours. I’d also add a bit of cinnamon for even more festive vibes!
Mmm…interesting. I like the idea of a cake based bourbon ball. Great idea, Ben!
Cant wait to make this soon for me for the filling and glaze can i use vegan butter and skip whiskey as i dont use whiskey at home i never had pecan bourbon balls before i love chocolate soooooooooooooooooo much perfect for my after office snacks love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work
Hmmm, if you skip the whiskey, you’ll need to replace it with a different liquid. I believe apple or orange juice would work well here. And of course you can use vegan butter! Let me know how they turn out if you make a batch!
Well, I know for sure that I’ll have to make a batch of these for hubby! And I agree with the wine and bourbon thing – cook with something you enjoying drinking. These pecan bourbon balls would be absolutely perfect for the holidays (though, I think they’re gonna have to happen quite a bit before that). 😉
Haha – no need to wait until the holidays, Dawn! The holiday season starts….NOW! 🙂
Ooh these pecan bourbon balls look so dangerously good David! I’m more of a rum ball type, but I think I’ve got a bottle of bourbon lying around to give this recipe a try! Is it cookies and milk for Santa, or bourbon balls and milk? 😉
Hey, you could totally turn these into rum balls! And I’m thinking Santa should get a plate of cookies and milk….AND a batch of bourbon/rum balls. He is Santa after all. He deserves it. 🙂
These look amazing! What a fun treat for the holidays!
Thanks, Kathy! These are indeed a fun treat for the holidays! 🙂
ooh yes please david! i love pecans and i loved(d) bourbon; sadly we don’t drink anymore. these look the bomb!
Thanks, Sherry – I’ll just go ahead and take care of yours for you since you don’t drink anymore. 🙂
i like those sweets made with Tim Tam biscuits, blitzed with cream cheese and chocolate. so delish!
Yes! These are similar to Oreo Balls (or I guess they would be Tim Tam Balls down there). Easy to eat and delicious sweet treats!
These look delicious! You can’t beat some kind of rolled chocolate balls for the festive season. I think I’m going to add booze to my chocolate balls recipe to give them a bit of a kick like I’m sure these have! Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
You should totally sneak a bit of booze (whisky I assume?) into your chocolate balls this holiday season! Tis the season for celebrating, right? 🙂
I haven’t had a dessert like this in quite some time. Perfect for the holidays! I think the chocolate coating is definitely the way to go. I don’t think I’ve used a chocolate-and-butter glaze before. That’s interesting.
Adding a bit of butter after melting chocolate gives it a smoother, glossier shine – not to mention a bit creamier taste, too. Give it a try!
I agree good bourbon should go in a whiskey glass, same thing as cooking with wine, I usually use the cheaper ones. Anyways those sweet treats looks really good, I am sure I will easily get addicted to those.
The thing about cooking with cheap wine and liquor is it can really change the flavor of the recipe. I always say cook with the best ingredients you can afford…including wine and liquor. Cheers!
That makes so much sense that the same rule would apply to using a bourbon you would drink, the same as you would do for wine! We have a favorite locally made bourbon (that’s not outrageously expensive) – I’ll definitely be trying your recipe for these during the holiday season. Such a fun, boozy treat and a perfect edible gift too!
That favorite local bourbon sounds like a great option for these bourbon balls! These are perfect for holiday get-togethers with friends and neighbors. Thanks, Marissa!
Love bourbon balls! But I haven’t had them for many years. Growing up one of my friends’ mom (who’s sadly passed away) used to make them. She was from Virginia via Kentucky, where I suppose she learned to make them. Anyway, the recipe actually sounds pretty doable. May give it a try for this Xmas season!
I’m with ya, Frank – my mom used to make bourbon balls for holiday parties when we were younger. (Of course, they were off-limits to me!) This recipe really isn’t too difficult at all, and it’s great for holiday appetizers when you’re hanging out with friends!