All I Want for Christmas is Bourbon Balls

December 17, 2012 | By | Comments (12)
Photo: Jennifer Davick. Styling: Buffy Hargett

Photo: Jennifer Davick. Styling: Buffy Hargett

Holiday treats don’t come 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. They do, err, pack a slight punch, so be judicious when sampling them! 

Bourbon Balls
Makes 5 dozen
Hands-on time: 55 min., Total time: 55 min.

  • 1 (12-oz.) package 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. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl until well blended.

2. Stir together bourbon and corn syrup until well blended. Stir together bourbon mixture and wafer mixture. Shape into 1-inch balls; roll in powdered sugar. Cover and chill up to 2 weeks.



  1. Erin D

    Contain. Not obtain. Oops!
    Thanks very much, Leanne- i wouldn’t want to cause any haunting 🙂
    That will at least get me started and hopefully in the right direction!
    Happy new year!

    December 30, 2012 at 6:56 pm
  2. Leanne

    My grandfather would probably haunt me if I gave out the family recipe. But this one is similar:

    December 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm
  3. Erin D

    Leanne, any chance you’d share your family recipe? My most favorite bourbon balls I’ve ever tasted were not rolled in sugar nor do they appear to obtain vanilla wafers, but I’ve never been able to find a recipe other than that standard one. 🙂

    December 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm
  4. kate

    Seems really tasty

    December 20, 2012 at 12:26 am
  5. Leanne

    As a Kentuckian, I have to say these aren’t real bourbon balls. Real ones are not made with wafers or rolled in powdered sugar. The recipe I made was handed down through my family and is over 100 years old.

    December 19, 2012 at 11:02 am
  6. Donna Florio

    I think pretzels are a great idea! Crunchy, and you’d get a touch of salt, too, which would be very nice.

    December 18, 2012 at 10:20 am
  7. Recipe Roundup 12/17/12 | DamnFineEating

    […] Bourbon Balls | Southern Living […]

    December 17, 2012 at 10:53 pm
  8. LaVanda

    We have nut allergies in our house too. Can crushed pretzels be used to replace nuts? I was wondering what could duplicate the crunchiness of nuts…

    December 17, 2012 at 6:44 pm
  9. Donna Florio

    You can substitute an additional cup of vanilla wafers for the nuts.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm
  10. Liz

    Any alternate ideas for the nuts? We can’t have nuts in our house because of our little girl.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm
  11. Judy

    I love bourbon balls!! Thanks for sharing

    December 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm
  12. megsays

    Yum! One of my favorite holiday treats my mom has always made. Great post to share 🙂

    December 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm

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