April 28, 2015

Kentucky Bourbon Balls For Your Derby Table

In honor of this week's Kentucky Derby I am trotting out my bourbon ball recipe again. 

I bring it out twice a year: Christmas  & Derby. And since it is Derby week...you may want to whip up some of these sweet treats to take to a party, or for your own party at home. 

On to the bourbon balls...

This recipe is fairly easy…and I always use Makers Mark bourbon.  

The center of each ball is a creamy mix of pure butter and powdered sugar, AND a very good bourbon. 

Don’t think that any old bourbon will do just because you are making candy…use the best, (i.e. Makers Mark in my house.)  Freeze the balls at this point. It helps because you are dipping a sugared butter ball into hot melted chocolate. 

Then dip into semisweet chocolate. Dip quickly, but be sure to coat the balls well. Sometimes I will double dip. Place the balls on waxed paper or parchment. 

To store, put in a sealed container and separate layers with waxed paper. Some people will sink a bourbon soaked pecan into the top of the ball just after it is dipped. 

Other people like to put that pecan in the middle of the creamy center. The choice is yours. Just enjoy!

bourbon balls
Kentucky Bourbon Balls


  • 1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup Makers Mark bourbon
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 50 pecan halves (about 1 1/4 cups) soak these in extra bourbon the night before you make the balls, for extra oomph! Or you may omit the pecans alltogether.
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 tablespoon shortening 
  1. Stir together first 3 ingredients until blended. Cover and chill 8 hours. 
  2. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls, like large marbles. Gently press a pecan half into each ball. Chill 8 hours or overnight. The colder they are the easier they are to dip into the hot melted chocolate. (I put mine in the freezer overnight.)
  3. Melt chocolate and shortening in a double boiler over medium heat. Remove from heat. Dip bourbon balls into the chocolate, and place onto wax paper. Sometimes I double dip them. :-)
  4. Chill 1 hour or until hardened.
As with any recipe you can tweak it to be just your own special version. Mine is based on a Southern Living one.

Bourbon balls make great gifts! Kentuckians usually will serve them at Christmas and Derby, and any other time we think appropriate! Enjoy.

Just so you know...Eight bourbon distilleries in Kentucky are open to the public and offer information on Kentucky bourbon history and  behind-the-scenes Kentucky distillery tours, all located within about an hour of each other in Central Kentucky. The scenic drives, known as The Bourbon Trail,  to each of these historic locations are so pretty that you need to bring your camera.   

Interested in a road trip...check out the map of the Bourbon Trail. You could stop at one or two if you don't want to do the whole tour. 

My Kentucky Living
My Kentucky Living

Hello, I'm Sheila and my house is a giant art project! I enjoy creating an environment where my family can feel safe, secure, and loved. We are empty nesters learning to slow down and enjoy life.

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