December 18, 2015

Candy Making Time at MyKentuckyLiving

It's Christmas time in Kentucky, and that means that it is candy making time! 

One of the candies we make in Kentucky uses a product for which we are famous...Bourbon. Whether you like it or not, our state makes some very fine bourbon. 

And at Christmas time many sweet church going ladies make large batches of bourbon balls, for parties or for giving. 

Yes, it's true. In fact some of the strongest bourbon balls I have tasted were made by a little Baptist lady who brought them to our house every Christmas season. We looked forward to her gift each year.

Speaking of Bourbon… How about some Kentucky Bourbon Balls?

image source

So, let's take a look at a very popular Kentucky product, bourbon, and specifically my bourbon balls. 

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.   

On to my bourbon balls...
I usually try to make chocolate dipped bourbon balls around Christmas time. 

The recipe is fairly easy…and I always use Makers Mark bourbon. 
I have been thinking of trying to remake the recipe without the bourbon and with another flavor...but that will be another time. 

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.)  

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 
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 tablespoon shortening 
  1. Stir together first 3 ingredients until blended. 
  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 into the freezer for a few hours.)
  3. Melt chocolate and shortening in a double boiler over medium heat. Remove from heat. Dip bourbon balls into the chocolate, and place on wax paper. Sometimes I double dip them. :-)
  4. Chill 1 hour or until hardened.
Place the balls onto waxed paper or parchment. To store, put in a sealed container and separate layers with waxed paper. Keep in a cool location. 

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!

As with any recipe you can tweak it to be just your own special version. 
Bourbon balls make great gifts! Kentuckians usually will serve them at Christmas and Derby, and any other time we think appropriate! Enjoy.

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. 
Thanks for visiting.

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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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