Fudgy Bourbon Balls — These bourbon balls only take 15 minutes of prep and you can make them days (or weeks) in advance, and just one appliance is dirtied!
No-Bake Bourbon Balls Recipe
These little nuggets are a perfect holiday treat. They’re easy, no-bake, only take 15 minutes of prep, they’re portable, you can make them days (or weeks) in advance, and just one appliance is dirtied. Love treats like this during this busy time of year!
And let’s not forget they’re chewy, fudgy, and have bourbon in them. Candy and booze all in one bite, my kind of holiday cheer.
There’s only 1/4 cup bourbon in the entire batch so you’re not going to get tipsy unless you get carried away and eat a few dozen in one siting.
These bourbon balls are great for holiday cookie exchanges and perfect to set out at a Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve party.
What’s in These Bourbon Balls?
To make this easy no-bake dessert, you’ll need:
- Nilla Wafers
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Ground ginger
- Light corn syrup
How to Make Bourbon Balls
Blend the Nilla Wafers in a food processor until they’re finely ground. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until combined. The proper consistency for the mixture is like wet sand; when squeezed it should hold together.
Scoop the mixture into small balls, then immediately dredge in confectioners’ sugar. Place the bourbon balls into a container and refrigerate until chilled.
Can I Add Nuts to These Bourbon Balls?
I’ve tried these with nuts in addition to the Nilla wafers, but for this recipe I omitted the nuts. You can substitute up to 1 cup ground pecans or walnuts for 1 cup of the Nilla Wafers if you’re feeling like getting nutty.
Can I Omit the Bourbon?
The bourbon provides a depth of flavor you can’t achieve without it. You can substitute with rum or whiskey if you’re so inclined. Since someone will ask, I don’t think there’s a way to make them non-alcoholic. I recommend these or these instead.
Tips for Making Bourbon Balls
If desired, you can use honey, agave, or molasses instead of the corn syrup. Just use whichever you have on hand!
When rolling the bourbon balls in confectioners’ sugar, I always make it a thick coating since it tends to ‘disappear’ a bit over time and become absorbed into the ball.
I prefer to store and serve these bourbon balls chilled, although they can be stored and served at room temp.
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Fudgy Bourbon Balls
- one 11-ounce box Nilla Wafers, finely ground (reserve about 8 wafers that you don’t grind)
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dredging
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup bourbon, or as necessary (rum may be substituted)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground ginger, or to taste
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
- about 1/4 cup light corn syrup, honey, agave, or molasses may be substituted
- To a food processor fitted with the S-blade, add the Nilla wafers (reserve 8 in case you need ‘firm up’ the mixture later) and blend on high speed until they’re finely ground.
- Add 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, bourbon, cinnamon, ginger, optional salt, and pulse to combine.
- Add the corn syrup and pulse to combine. The proper consistency for the mixture is like wet sand; when squeezed it should hold together. Add a splash more corn syrup or bourbon if mixture seems too dry; if it’s too wet add some of the reserved wafers.
- Using a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop or spoon, form balls that are about 3/4-inch in diameter. Roll each ball between your hands to smooth them out.
- Dredge each ball through confectioners’ sugar. I use a heavy coating because it tends to ‘disappear’ a bit over time and become absorbed into the ball.
- Place balls in an airtight container or ziptop bag and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or until chilled. I prefer to store and serve these chilled although they can be stored and served at room temp. Will keep airtight for many weeks in the fridge.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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