Saturday, December 24, 2016

Bourbon Balls

After getting some snow this December, our Christmas Eve forecast is for rain, which is really depressing.   It is supposed to go into the 50s by the day after Christmas, which should make for lots of gray and mud.   Christmas sort of snuck up on me this year.   I haven't yet made any cookies, but I might try to get some made today.  I'm taking it easy; it seems Christmas never comes out exactly as I think it should be,   So why not just kick back and enjoy it for what it is?

I was inspired by my friend Paula who said she made some bourbon balls that didn't have ground up vanilla wafers in them.   I wondered if they were like ones I tasted a few years ago when I was in Elizabethtown, KY for work that had a more creamy texture at a cute little place called the Back Home Restaurant.    I vowed I'd try to duplicate them, along with their version of Kentucky cream pull candy.  A quick googling found a recipe on allrecipes by someone named "KY Piano Teacher" that looked like it might fit the bill, but when tried to follow the recipe, I found the instructions a little lacking so I modified it a bit.   It's essentially a no cook fondant center.   I was a little nervous because I thought it would melt when I dipped it but it did not.   I coated these with some fancy candy making chocolate that I have, but if you are lacking that, try some Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate bars that you can find in any grocery store.   Learn how to do it here.

Kentucky Bourbon Balls

1 c. chopped pecans, additional whole pecans for topping (optional)
5 T, bourbon (I used Maker's Mark, but a cheaper bourbon is really all that is required)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 lb. confectioners sugar
18 ounces chocolate, for dipping

Put nuts in a canning jar with a lid, and add bourbon, shaking to coat.  Allow to steep overnight.  In a mixing bowl, add butter and sugar and mix on medium speed until crumbly.   Add nuts and bourbon.  Knead the fondant with your hands until a soft dough forms, slightly sticky  Add more powdered sugar if necessary until it can form a soft sticky ball.  Line a tray with parchment, and form fondant into 1 inch balls.    Refrigerate until very firm.  Dip balls in melted chocolate,   You can top with a whole pecan, if desired.

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