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Not only do the locals know a thing or two about bourbon, they are more than happy to share the knowledge. Today’s recipe for Kentucky bourbon balls comes courtesy of the Kentucky Derby Museum Cookbook.
One of the great joys about traveling in Kentucky is visiting the great Kentucky bourbon distilleries. In addition to the bourbon there are also the many gorgeous racetracks, horse studs and other racing-affiliated facilities. This all makes for a rather attractive drive through the Bluegrass State. Trust me, it is stunning. If you have the chance to visit – take it.
And Louisville is a great place to base yourself to explore it all! For your visiting convenience, many of these iconic distilleries have opened tasting rooms and provide tours right in the center of Louisville on Main St, also known as Whiskey Row.
Kentucky Bourbon Comes of Age
There are numerous bourbon distilleries around Louisville where you can undertake a tour of the facilities, learn about the distilling process and of course taste the product. We toured 3 Kentucky bourbon distilleries and they were all a little different and all very good.
Many local Louisville restaurants and bars feature menus with bourbon-based dishes, sauces and tasting flights.
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Matching food and bourbon is becoming all the rage and this extends to sweets as well. Chocolate and bourbon are a match made in heaven. Several distilleries have formal arrangements with local, artisanal, chocolate providores to produce chocolates matching their particular type of bourbon.
So, if the distilleries are matching bourbon and chocolate, you can as well! And I have just the recipe for you. Read on for the recipe for Kentucky bourbon balls.
Kentucky Bourbon Balls
There is a reason bourbon balls are so popular in Kentucky. They’re good and simple to make, even for people that don’t usually make chocolates or desserts. (Like me!)
The trick with melting the chocolate is to make sure you have a double boiler. You don’t want any water to touch the chocolate or it becomes thick, lumpy and unworkable. Everything else is pretty easy.
A hint: After refrigerating the bourbon balls to set, and before they are chocolate-coated, you can use your hands to re-shape the bourbon balls into a perfect round shape as the dough mixture has hardened.
|Servings||Prep Time||Passive Time|
- 1/4 lb butter (1 stick)
- 1 lb sugar, powdered (1 box)
- 1 cup pecans finely chopped
- 4 tbsp bourbon from Kentucky
- 4 ozs chocolate, semi-sweet we used Ghirardelli brand
- 4 ozs chocolate, bitter-sweet we used Ghirardelli brand
- One day ahead, cream the butter and sugar. Add the well chopped pecans, mixing well. Add the bourbon and quickly shape into balls, using 1 teaspoon of mixture for each ball. Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the chilled bourbon balls, re-shaping any balls into more perfect shapes, if need be. Melt both the chocolates in a double broiler until the chocolate has a smooth consistency. Dip the chilled bourbon balls into the chocolate. Place the candy on waxed paper and then in the refrigerator for a further 1 hour to harden.
Oh those would be a big hit around the holidays in my house, looks so good!
Nothing like chocolate and bourbon in the same treat.
I second Sia, perfect gift for Christmas can make it ahead and so easy to make.
Yes so simple and a great taste!
MMM! These little bourbon balls look like heaven! Perfect for the holiday season!
Always good to have some sweet treats around at this time of the year.
Sia | Monsoon Spice
What a fantastic recipe. Perfect for this holiday season and I can see them make a wonderful edible gifts.
I like the idea of the edible gift for the bourbon balls. It just makes it a bit more personal when you give an edible gift.