Pecan Bourbon Balls Recipe

During the holidays, it's all but impossible to resist a homemade bourbon ball. It's a Southern delicacy that disappears mighty quick (maybe too quick) at any holiday party. Whether rolled in powdered sugar, dipped in chocolate, or coated in chopped pecans, these boozy bites never disappoint our crowd. These Pecan Bourbon Balls are coated in spiced toasted pecans for a sweet-and-salty finishing touch. Toasted pecans, unsweetened cocoa, and—our favorite ingredient—bourbon come together for a bite-sized confection and perfect holiday treat. It's been said that these bourbon balls might go down a little too easy, thanks to the decadently layered flavors; but the holidays are all about celebrating, so we see no fault in that! During Christmas, we love whipping up a batch of these sweet, no-bake treats for a much-loved Christmas food gift idea for neighbors or hostesses. When gifting, nestle each one in a mini baking cup, and place them in cardboard jewelry boxes wrapped in holiday paper before delivering. We guarantee these treats are good enough to give your most talented baking acquaintance without a worry in the world. After trying these special boozy balls of sweetness, you'll never think "a bourbon ball is a bourbon ball is a bourbon ball" again!

Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
About 3 1/2 dozen


Buttery Toasted Pecans

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

  • 4 cups pecan halves

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

Bourbon Balls

  • 1 (12-oz.) package vanilla wafers, finely crushed

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans

  • 1/2 cup bourbon

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

  • Powdered sugar, for coating


  1. Prepare the Buttery Toasted Pecans: Preheat oven to 325°. Toss together butter and pecans. Spread pecans in a single layer in a jelly-roll pan; bake 25 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with salt and pepper, tossing to coat. Cool completely. Store up to 1 week.

  2. Prepare the Bourbon Balls: Stir together first 6 ingredients. Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar or coarsely chopped Buttery Toasted Pecans. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

    Bourbon Balls
    Iain Bagwell
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