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Bourbon Balls

Growing up in Kentucky, I’ve had a torrid love affair with bourbon balls for many years; however, it took a California girl to put the real meaning in “bourbon” balls!

Sunday I attended a Christmas cookie exchange hosted by my good friend Tracy (California girl).  There were so many pretty delicious cookies and it was great to see “old” friends.  Tracy is the “hostess with the mostest” who definitely knows how to entertain and ensures that everyone will have a fun time.

My point was to take photos of the dozen bourbon balls I brought home but; as you can see, Bill got to them first and claimed them excellent.  These are the best bourbon balls I’ve ever eaten and there is no mistaking the bourbon in them!

I will be making them soon ~ when Bill isn’t home!

Bourbon Balls


12 cups crushed vanilla wafers—the original Vanilla Wafers (4 boxes)
¾ cup dark corn syrup
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4¼ cups powdered sugar, divided
4¾ cups chopped pecans, divided
3 cups bourbon—Old Grand Dad’s
  1.  Mix vanilla wafers, corn syrup, cocoa powder, 4 cups powdered sugar, 4 cups pecans and bourbon. Refrigerate at least 12 hours.
  2. Shape into balls. Pulverize remaining ¾ cup pecans and sift in remaining ¼ cup powdered sugar. Mix together and roll bourbon balls in mixture.
  3. You may want to halve the recipe as it makes a lot, 6 dozen.

They are “blue-ribbon” bourbon balls for sure!  Thanks for the recipe California Girl!

Be sure to enter my Tate’s Bake Shop giveaway that was posted on December 3rd!

Also, check out my friend, Linda’s blog, at My Kind of Cooking for her great recipes and cookbook giveaway!


  1. i've never had a bourbon ball, but i'd sure love to try one, they look and sound delicious!

  2. Ooooooo I think I could get drunk eating these LOL. Diane

  3. Oh good grief, Pam! 3 cups of bourbon? They must come with instructions to not eat until after 5 p.m. I used to make these and loved them back about 35-40 years ago. I think I have missed them now that you have reminded me!!! Thanks.

  4. What a great idea for Christmas! I will have fun making these (one sip of Bourbon for me . . . and another for the Bourbon Balls!) Thanks for the recipe Pam

  5. A cookie exchange is so fun. I don't think I've tried bourbon balls but they sound so good.

  6. My father makes the exact same thing except with rum. I used to help him roll the balls as a kid and I could never understand why I wasn't allowed to lick the spoon. Then when I was older I figured out why. Those babies pack a punch. I made them once for friends and it surprised them. The cookies look cute and innocent but they will knock you on your butt.

  7. Ive never tried these till this last weekend. There was a beautiful platter of them at a holiday party I attended. Cant wait to try making them myslef!

  8. Three cups Bourbon? One shot for the baker? :) They look so good!

  9. I love cookie exchanges! At our church, we do cookie exchanges at Christmas time and throughout the year we do recipe exchanges. They are so much fun!

  10. Sounds like you had a great cookie exchange with delicious results.

  11. Never had one, this needs remedied for sure. They look fantastic

  12. My dad used to make Bourbon Balls and they were so good, I forgot all about these until now! These recipe sounds really good! Thanks!

  13. My all time favorite treat of the season. I have to admit, I am a bit partial to Maker's Mark though!

  14. Bourbon balls.

    I could get all third grade here, and make a dirty joke, but I won't. You know me, though. It's not easy. I'd better leave before I succumb to temptation.

  15. Wow, can't wait to try these too! I posted the Wedding Cookies you helped me out with! Did I do a good job? They were wonderful! I love cookie exchanges too!
    Thanks Pam!

  16. Bourbon balls sound exciting...what a great idea for parties!

  17. Ooh, Pam, your friend's bourbon balls look and sound scrumptious! =)

  18. Hi Pam ¿Are you allowed to drive after eating one of these beaties? I'm making this recipe right away, I had already made some german cookies for a party I'm going to tomorrow, but now I must take these bourbon balls, I'm so lucky I always keep plenty of vanilla waffers at home, the have proved to be useful more than once. Big hugs from Chile, so sorry my recipe blog is in Spanish!

  19. I do love these. Perfect for this Christmas!

  20. I've never had bourbon balls before, but my great aunt used to make rum balls all the time. I have her recipe and have made it numerous times, they are always a hit!!

  21. teresa, wish I could pass one through to you!

    Food, Fun and Life in the Charente, maybe, but you'd enjoy something good on the way!

    Susan, yes-I was shocked too. They are delicious and creamy!

    Sue, that would work great!

    Bo, thanks! Me too!

    Biren @ Roti n Rice, it was fun and interesting to see what everyone brings to swap.

    Kristin, you are so right! These definitely pack a punch and it's a wonderful thing!

    Smitten Sugar, enjoy! You will love them!

    Dishesdone, that's the way it goes. They're powerful!

    Linda, oh, that would be great with the recipe exchanges! I will have to suggest that at ours!

    Lisa, yes-the results were the best!

    Jennifurla, hope you try this one. Yum!!!

    Zia Elle, thanks and have a good day!

    Kirby, this brought back some good memories for you. Hope you give it a try!

    Farmchick, it would be Maker's Mark here also. Have you been there? It's amazing and beautiful.

    Suldog, yes, I can imagine what that would be. You are too funny!

    Valerie, you did great and they look delicious! And great photos also. Way to go!

    Zoe, yes it was a fun party and Tracy is a great hostess!

    Terrianne, Call me Ree, thanks! They're awesome and packed with flavor!

    Pamela, LOL! Didn't think about that. I will be looking at your blog soon. I can read Spanish much better than speaking it. Hugs to you!

    claire, thanks!

    Sean Grey Hanson, yes - they're great for a holiday treat!

    Jenn, your great aunt's rum balls sound good to me, love them also!

  22. Delicious. I love bourbon balls, and they always remind me of the holiday season. I've always relied on my grandmother to make these, so I'm going to have to try for myself this year! Thanks for sharing with me, my friend. Have a wonderful end to your week!

  23. I haven't had these in many years but always liked them. I believe I'll see if I can get the family sweets maker to whip up a batch for the holidays. I had a family member (can't remember who) that always drank Old Grand Dad.

  24. Whoa! 3 cups of bourbon (hic!) Haha... I haven't made bourbon balls in several years. I tend to eat them ALL!

  25. I need to make these! I have been craving something like this on this years menu! FUN dessert to pop in your mouth!

  26. I had these at a party years ago and absolutely loved them but never got the recipe. I am surprised how easy they seem to make. Wow! Lots of booze in

  27. Now where exactly have these been all my life? they sound delicious!

  28. It's funny, I thought of bourbon balls as meatballs because of a Southern Living recipe I made all the way back in 2001.

    Glad to see I'm not the only one to have stuff I was planning to use for a post get raided by a family member!


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