All I Want for Christmas Is Bourbon Balls

Learn how to make these delicious Christmas sweets.

Bourbon Balls
Photo: Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Holiday treats don't get much easier than these no-bake bourbon balls, requested by Mary Robinson of Macon, Georgia. They make a large batch, so they're great for parties or gift-giving. Made with mostly pantry staples, this is a great recipe to have on hand during the holidays when you never know who will stop by. In under an hour, you can have a chocolate and nutty treat that presents like a sophisticated bakery item. They do pack a slight punch, so be judicious when sampling them!

How To Make Bourbon Balls

Makes 5 dozen, Hands-on time: 55 mins, Total time: 55 mins


  • 1 (12-oz.) package of vanilla wafers, finely crushed
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • Powdered sugar


1. First, stir the vanilla wafers, pecans, powdered sugar, and unsweetened cocoa powder in a large bowl. To make sure the ingredients are well blended, use a food processor to crush the vanilla wafers. You can also place the wafers in an airtight plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into small pieces. Follow the same process for the pecans and combine them with the other dry ingredients.

dry ingredients for bourbon balls overhead
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

2. Stir together bourbon and corn syrup until well blended. Stir together the bourbon mixture and wafer mixture until a dough forms.

dough for bourbon balls
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

3. Scoop small sections of the dough and shape it into one-inch balls. Next, roll them in powdered sugar and place them on a platter or in an airtight container.

bourbon balls rolled in powdered sugar
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

4. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to two weeks.

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