Friday, December 10, 2010

Chocolate Bourbon Balls

If you have bourbon lovers in your familly, you must make this recipe. And you should do it soon, because these no-bake cookies need to age in order to achieve their full, well-rounded potential.

Because these bourbon balls are constructed from pre-made cookies and no perishable ingredients, they can be stored in a cool, dry place for several months. As they age, the sharp edges of the bourbon are smoothed away, and the texture of the bourbon balls improves and becomes smoothly dense. The molasses, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves combine to make that sort of warming winter flavor that makes you feel like you're curled up in front of a roaring fire. These are not treats for kids, though--they still pack a punch.

There are, of course, many recipes for bourbon balls out there. However, every other recipe that I was able to find either called for butter (which would make them less shelf-stable); powdery, metallicy cocoa; or vanilla wafers. Vanilla!? Who wants vanilla bourbon balls? Chocolate and bourbon were made for each other; add some molasses and pecans, and you've got a party.

So really--enlist some help (this is the kind of recipe that's fun to make with another person), roll up your sleeves (it's messy), and get these little nuggets aging in order to have them ready for Christmas.

 Bourbon Balls
(From The Gourmet Cookie Book)

  • 1/2 cup chopped raisins
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, plus about another 3/4 cup for rolling the balls
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

In a small bowl, let the raisins macerate in the bourbon for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, combine well all ingredients except the 3/4 cup chopped pecans for rolling. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls, and roll the balls in the finely chopped pecans. Store the bourbon balls in an airtight container in a cool dark place for at least 1 week before serving.

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