If you read my blog or know me, then you are aware that my only sibling lives in Colorado. After she attended college at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, she did her graduate studies in Colorado, and never left the state again (well, she did dip over to Dallas for a moment). She is the only relative not living in the South, but it is still in her blood. I can’t blame her for loving Colorado. It is pretty exceptional, as are the views from her back porch. Recently, she sent me a few iphone photos of her bourbon balls, so of course I needed the recipe immediately to share with all of you. Plus, what’s not to love about bourbon, pecans and chocolate? I’m looking forward to my sister and her husband visiting our family home in South Walton for Christmas this year. Cheers!
Chocolate Bourbon Balls
2 cups pecan halves
2 cups shortbread cookies. Place in ziplock bag and crushed into crumbs
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. heavy cream
2 tbsp. local honey to your area
4 tbsp. light corn syrup
9 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tbsp., plus 1 tsp. bourbon (Willet, Buffalo Trace)
1 vanilla bean, sliced in half and vanilla scraped out
¼ cup sugar
Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Do not burn. Set these aside and allow to cool on parchment paper.
Chop one cup of the pecans into small pieces by hand or quick pulse in a food processor. and add to the shortbread crumbs in a large bowl. Set aside.
In a small sauce pot, heat together the cream, light corn syrup, and local honey. Bring to a boil and pour over the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Let stand for one minute and mix to combine. Pour this mixture over the shortbread and pecans, and add the bourbon. You may want to take a sip or two as well. Mix thoroughly.
Chill mixture for one hour in the refrigerator.
While mixture chills, slice the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the vanilla inside. Add to sugar and mix together. Chop the remaining pecans finely and add to the vanilla-sugar. Set aside.
Form the chilled crumb mixture into small balls with a teaspoon and roll them through the pecan-vanilla-sugar. Enjoy immediately or store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
#Note: This recipe makes about 50 bourbon balls. Make a double batch and share with the neighbors! Merry Christmas!