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Hot-Spiced Bourbon Balls

Prep time 35 mins
Bake time 10 mins
Chill time 1 hr
Yield Makes 30 balls


  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons sorghum*
  • 60 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp.)

How to Make It

  1. Place pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted.

  2. Sift together 1 cup powdered sugar, next 4 ingredients, and, if desired, ground red pepper. Stir together bourbon and sorghum. Gradually add powdered sugar mixture to bourbon mixture, stirring until blended. Stir in vanilla wafers and toasted pecans; stir 1 minute. (Place a small amount of mixture in palm of hand, and make a fist around mixture, testing to be sure dough will hold its shape. If not, continue to stir in 20-second intervals.)

  3. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet.

  4. Chill 1 hour or until slightly firm. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week.

  5. *Molasses, honey, or cane syrup may be substituted.

  6. Note: For testing purposes only, we used Hershey's Dutch Processed Cocoa at one tasting and Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa at another.

from their cookbook,

The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook