Maple-Pecan Bourbon Balls
The bourbon ball was created in 1938 by Ruth Hanly Booe, a former Kentucky school teacher turned candy maker. The creamy original was whisky-spiked, covered with chocolate and topped with a pecan. Modern-day versions, like this one, are simpler to put together: Vanilla wafers, toasted pecans, cocoa powder, confectioners' sugar and bourbon are combined in a food processor, rolled into balls and dunked in melted chocolate or rolled in confectioners' sugar. Ours also includes a bit of maple syrup for added depth. Bar chocolate, as opposed to chocolate chips, works much better for enrobing candies because chocolate chips have less cocoa butter and become too thick to coat evenly when melted.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 8ounces/225 grams vanilla wafers
- 1 ¼cups/125 grams pecan halves, toasted
- 6tablespoons/90 milliliters maple syrup
- ⅓cup/30 grams cocoa powder
- ¼cup/60 milliliters bourbon
- 1teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓cup/40 grams confectioners’ sugar, plus about 1/4 cup/30 grams for coating (optional)
- 1 ½cups/255 grams chopped semisweet chocolate (not chips)
Step 1In the bowl of a food processor, combine the vanilla wafers and pecans and process until fine crumbs form. Add the maple syrup, cocoa, bourbon, vanilla, salt and 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar and process until completely combined and the mixture holds together when shaped into a ball.
Step 2Portion the dough into 1 tablespoon scoops and transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once all the dough is portioned, roll the scoops into neat balls.
Step 3Melt the chocolate over a double boiler on the stove or in short bursts in the microwave. Using two forks, dip each ball into the melted chocolate, and rotate to cover completely in chocolate coating. Tap each of the covered balls over the edge of the bowl to release excess chocolate and transfer to the prepared sheet. Alternatively, roll the uncoated balls in the 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar until coated.
Step 4Transfer the sheet to the fridge to set for at least 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.