The following recipe for Kentucky Derby Bourbon Balls originally appeared on August 6, 2009 on my old blog, Shutterboo.com.
It’s that time of year again. When strangers come together to celebrate race horses doing what they do best. While the ponies run, the people are enveloped in merriment. The Kentucky Derby is celebrated with food, with drinks, with friends, with cheers… the city parties for two weeks, y’all. And one of my favorite treats of the season (or really any time of year) are bourbon balls.
My mom shared her recipe with me and we made them together for a few years until I learned how to do it on my own. I got confident and even submitted bourbon balls into the Kentucky State Fair a couples years. (Spoiler: I didn’t place. I have a theory that it’s rigged.) And my mom continues to be known to hand over her homemade confections when saying thanks or congratulating someone. They are so good that people request them. Nom nom nom.
What I’m saying is you don’t have to buy bourbon balls wrapped with ribbon in a cellophane box. You can make them at home, share them with your friends and hear them gush about how good they are. And you can say, “It’s no big deal! They just taste that good because they’re made with love!” Because this candy recipe is not hard. Takes a little time, but not hard.
Rich chocolate surrounding a soft, sweet center that has a wonderful bite of bourbon. You know you want them.
Kentucky Derby Bourbon Balls
– 1 stick of butter
– 1 ½ boxes of confectioner sugar
– ½ cup of bourbon (I’ve used Maker’s Mark and Heaven Hill green label – they honestly taste the same)
– pecans pieces
– chocolate (Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips do the job nicely)
1. Let pecan pieces soak in bourbon while creaming the butter and sugar.
2. Then mix in the bourbon/pecan mixture thoroughly.
3. Form into bite-size balls. You may have to refrigerate the mixture so that it doesn’t stick and will form more easily.
4. Refrigerate balls (they get gooey if left in room temp).
5. Melt chocolate with a little paraffin wax in a double boiler.
6. Dip balls in chocolate, return to wax paper and top with pecan half.
7. Consume and allow your taste buds to do a happy dance.