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Bourbon Balls (VRP 037)

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Bourbon Balls are a classic confectionery delight perfect for holidays, celebrations, or as a special treat for adults. These bite-sized treats combine the rich flavors of chocolate, bourbon, and nuts, rolled in powdered sugar for a sweet and irresistible finish.

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Bourbon BallsBourbon Balls

Front of the recipe card for Bourbon Balls.

Food History

Originating from the Southern United States, bourbon balls are a popular holiday treat, especially around Christmas and New Year’s. They were traditionally made to use leftover cakes and cookies, blending with bourbon to create a flavorful dessert that could be easily shared during festive occasions.

Recipe Discussion

This recipe for Bourbon Balls starts by melting chocolate chips in a double boiler, ensuring a smooth texture that will bind the other ingredients together. Karo syrup is added to the melted chocolate for a touch of sweetness and to help solidify the mixture when cooled. Bourbon, a key ingredient, lends a robust flavor that pairs excellently with the sweet chocolate. Crushed vanilla wafers and nuts give the balls structure and a crunchy texture. After mixing all the ingredients, the mixture is shaped into balls, rolled in powdered sugar, and allowed to develop the flavors thoroughly for a week.

Serving Suggestions

Bourbon Balls are best served at room temperature. For an elegant presentation, they can be presented in mini cupcake liners and arranged on a platter. These treats are perfect for gifting, especially during the holidays, packed in decorative boxes or tins.

Preparation Tips

  • Melting Chocolate: To prevent the chocolate from burning, ensure the water in the double boiler does not touch the bottom of the bowl containing it.
  • Mixing Ingredients: Allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly before adding the bourbon to prevent alcohol evaporation.
  • Consistency: If the mixture is too dry, add more Karo syrup or bourbon; if it is too wet, add more crushed wafers.
  • Aging the Bourbon Balls: Allow them to sit in an airtight container for at least one week to enhance the flavors. The alcohol flavor will mellow, and the textures will soften, creating a decadent, moist treat.

Vintage Recipe Box 37

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Bourbon Balls Recipe

Bourbon Balls

Bourbon Balls


  • 6 ounces chocolate chips - melt in double boiler
  • 3 tablespoons Karo syrup
  • ⅓ cup bourbon
  • 2½ cup crushed vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup nuts


  1. Make into balls.
  2. Roll in powdered sugar.
  3. Let sit for one week.

Bourbon Balls offer a delightful blend of textures and deep, rich flavors, making them a favorite during the holiday season or any special occasion. These no-bake treats are easy to make and even more accessible to enjoy, bringing a touch of Southern tradition to your dessert table.

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