Booze and cookies: two all-time favorite holiday treats known to make the season even brighter. Marry them, and you've got rum or bourbon balls--the ulitmate bite-sized desserts for December.
Bourbon Ball image
Bourbon Ball image
| Credit: Getty images

The four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are always full.

They are full in a joyful sense; full of cheerful music, lights, gifts, tradition, and time with your people. But they are also full in a physically draining sense; full of busy workdays, gift purchasing, and holiday parties with people you dont even know that well. Then there are those multi-hour-long family gatherings with all of the extended family. Need I say more?

When it comes to holiday treats, I say there's no holding back. Becuase dang it, you deserve it. Don't choose between a holiday dessert and booze (the giver of holiday spirit). Make a hybrid of the two: a cookie bound together with liquor. Don't get me wrong. I love Christmastime, almost to an obnoxious degree. But anyone who says that the holiday season isn't physically/mentally/emotionally exhausting has gotta be either Martha Stewart or lying. If there is ever a time to soak a dessert with brown liquor, the month of December is definitely that time. Choose from this collection of our best bourbon and rum balls for a brighter holiday season all-around.

Bourbon Balls

A classic bourbon ball is made with chopped pecan, vanilla wafers, and bourbon. It literally could not be easier.

Need an easy dessert for holiday guests or potluck parties? Spice things up with these simple sweets that come together in no time. For mellower bourbon flavor, prepare at least one week ahead.

Recipe: Bourbon Balls Jean Allsopp

For an even faster bourbon ball, use brownie mix, applesauce, and packaged chopped walnuts to make Brownie Bourbon Balls.

Brownie Bourbon Balls
Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

Or hey, mix things up and make these Pecan Bourbon Balls by adding spice and toasting the pecans for sweet and salty treat.

Pecan Bourbon Balls
Credit: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

If you're a chocoholic, you're sure to love this recipe, where the whole ball is dumked in melted semi-sweet chips.

Bourbon Balls

Rum Balls

If you're more of a rum drinker, follow a similar recipe for Rum Balls, using your favorite rum instead of bourbon.

Rum Balls
Credit: Mark Thomas; Styling: Gerri Williams

Royal Rum Balls are a fancy variation that highlights gingersnap and coconut. They also tap into the natural sweetness of dates.

Royal Rum Balls
Credit: Lee Harrelson; Stylists: Mindi Shapiro, Ana Kelley

Trade in the orange and brown sprinkles for a mix of red, green, and white for this ultra-festive Rum Ball recipe.

Rum Balls
Credit: Charles Schiller; Styling: Lynn Miller

Any of these boozy little balls can be a sure cure for an exceptionally long work day, a rave-worthy treat for any holiday party, and delicious remedy for awkward family gatherings. P.S. Even though these no-bake treats are super simple to throw together, they only get better with time; in fact, make them a week ahead of when you anticipate serving them for the fullest flavor.