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Last Updated on December 18, 2020 by Diane Hoffmaster
Every year I make about 15 different kinds of homemade candy and one of my husband's favorites is this easy bourbon ball recipe. Probably because he is a big fan of all things bourbon! He has even toured some of the bourbon distilleries in Kentucky which he really enjoyed. Bourbon balls are incredibly easy to make and you can make them strong or mild, depending on your own tastes.
I have played around with the recipe over the last few years and have come up with one that works for us. Feel free to modify it to create the perfect bourbon ball recipe for your own family and friends...it is pretty easy to adjust. Once you have made up the filling, just roll and dip in melted chocolate for a delicious homemade gift or decadent after dinner dessert! If you love making homemade candy, check out my lemon truffle recipe, too!
This easy bourbon ball recipe takes very little time to make, however, I highly recommend using a Cuisinart Food Processor to crush the vanilla wafers into crumbs and a KitchenAid Stand Mixer to mix the filling. Seriously...those two kitchen appliances are the absolute most important things in my kitchen when I start making homemade candy.
To make these bourbon balls stronger, add a splash or two of extra bourbon right as you mix the filling. If your batter is too wet, add a bit more powdered sugar or cocoa to make it dryer. However, keep in mind that the batter will look too wet when you first mix it. Let it sit 5 minutes or so to allow the cookie crumbs to absorb the liquid and thicken things up. If the batter is still too wet to roll, THEN add more powdered sugar or cocoa.
Easy Bourbon Ball Recipe
- 1 1/ cups chopped walnuts
- ½ cup Maker's Mark bourbon
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 cups crushed vanilla wafers
- ¼ to ⅓ cup cocoa
- ⅓ cup sweetened condensed milk (plus more if needed)
- melted chocolate for dipping (using dipping chocolate like the Wilton wafers you find in the craft store that have been melted in a double boiler)
- Soak the chopped nuts in the bourbon for 3 to 4 hours
- In large mixing bowl (a Kitchen-aid comes in handy here!) mix crushed vanilla wafers, powdered sugar, cocoa, sweetened condensed milk, nuts and bourbon. Mix until well combined and the mixture forms a ball
- Let sit in fridge 3 to 4 hours
- Roll the center into 1 ½ inch balls
- When all the center is rolled, dip in melted chocolate
- Decorate with candy writers, chopped walnuts, or leave plain
- NOTE: If the mixture is too dry, add more sweetened condensed milk (or another splash of bourbon if you like them strong!) If the mixture is too wet, add more cocoa. You want the dough to be slightly damp but holding a shape. The wafer crumbs will absorb some liquid as it sits in the fridge.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2249Total Fat: 78gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 114mgCarbohydrates: 388gSugar: 337gProtein: 44g
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Looking for more homemade candy recipes?
Try this homemade caramel!
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.