Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Kentucky Bourbon Balls


Bourbon Balls

1 12-ounce bag pecan halves

1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted softened butter

4 cups confectioner’s sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 Tablespoons good bourbon

1 10-ounce bag bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghiradelli)

1 10-ounce bag milk chocolate chips (Ghiradelli)

1 teaspoon butter flavored shortening.

Toast the pecans on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes.  Pecans will smell fragrant-but don’t brown them.   Toasting nuts can be done in the microwave-on a microwave safe plate in 30 second intervals for about 1-1.5 minutes-until just fragrant.  

Let toasted nuts cool.

Select about 30 whole pecan halves that look pretty-with no blemishes-set aside.

Finely chop one cup of the remaining pecans.

In a small bowl add the chopped pecans and 6 Tablespoons of bourbon. Stir the nuts and bourbon together.  The chopped pecans should be almost be covered in bourbon.  Cover the chopped pecans and bourbon with plastic wrap.  Let sit 1-24 hours.  The longer the nuts soak, the more flavor they will absorb.

In a mixing bowl, cream the softened butter for 2-3 minutes. Add the confectioner’s sugar, and cream together, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add 1 cup of the bourbon soaked chopped pecans.  Add salt and vanilla.  Mix well.  Mixture will be similar to a soft cookie dough. 

(If mixture is too stiff, add a teaspoon of bourbon.  If mixture is too loose, add a few Tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, using a 1 inch cookie scoop, portion the bourbon ball filling onto the tray.  Using clean hands, lightly wet fingers and gently roll each scoop into a ball shape-as if you were making small meatballs.

Chill rolled bourbon balls in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In a double boiler-combine 1 cup of bittersweet and 1 cup of milk chocolate chips.  Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable shortening.  On low heat-slowly melt the chocolate and shortening-stirring and scraping the sides often.

Using a fork, lower each bourbon ball into the melted chocolate, coat each bourbon ball and then place on a parchment line baking sheet.  While chocolate is still wet, affix a toasted pecan half on top of each candy.

Refrigerate the chocolate covered bourbon balls for 30 minutes or until chocolate has set-up.

Store refrigerated bourbon balls in an air tight tin or container for 2-3 weeks or freeze for longer storage.

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