Every year at Christmas, a dear friend of our family would make all of us her special bourbon balls. Sadly, she passed away this fall. Evelyn and my mother had been very close friends for years, but she was special to all of us. She was just like part of our family. You have never met a sweeter lady. When I started doing this blog and the holidays approached, I told my mother one day that I wish I had gotten Evelyn's bourbon ball recipe and Mama said that for some reason she did ask her to write it down right before she got sick. To most people that ever had bourbon balls, Evelyn's bourbon balls are much better for some reason. They were her thing she made that none of the rest of us tried to improve on, because you couldn't and you just knew it. She must have made dozens of these things, because she always gave all of us a nice size tin.
Now, let me warn you, Evelyn's bourbon balls pack a wallop. They are not for the faint of heart or taste buds...lol. She always said her 'secret' was that she soaked the nuts in bourbon overnight to begin with. That is what made the difference. I serve these at my annual Christmas party for the family and our oldest nephew says there should be a two bourbon ball limit and if he has more than that, his wife has to drive home...lol.
I have decided that I will take over as the official 'bourbon ball' maker in Evelyn's honor, but I am not sure I can ever live up to her standards. RIP Evelyn and thank you for your kindness and your friendship through the years. You were a special lady.
Here is what you need for these bourbon balls:
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup good KY bourbon plus 2 Tbs.
1 lb. box of powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup paraffin
Soak the nuts in 1/4 cup good bourbon overnight. I always get asked what I mean by 'good bourbon'. I mean good quality, not the cheap stuff...something like Maker's Mark is good for this.
Mix together butter and sugar with an electric mixer, add vanilla until creamy. Add the pecans with bourbon and add 2 Tbs. additional bourbon. Place in the refrigerator to chill for several hours. Roll into teaspoon size balls. Place on wax paper and cover loosely. Place the rolled bourbon balls in the freezer to freeze. Some recipe don't tell you to freeze them, but they are really hard to dip without falling apart if you don't.
Melt chocolate with paraffin in a double boiler and blend until smooth. Dip the balls while still frozen in the warm chocolate and place on wax paper or nonstick aluminum foil works really well. I like to go back after dipping them all and drizzle a little chocolate right on top for a pretty look. When you start dipping these in the chocolate, you have to work fast before they start to thaw or they become hard to work with. Also keeping the chocolate over the warm water to keep it melted is important because the frozen bourbon balls will chill it quickly. If you don't have a double boiler just place a sauce pan in a larger pan with water in it. Place in the refrigerator and chill for several hours.
Evelyn's Kentucky Colonel Bourbon Balls!