Monday, May 7, 2012

Derby Days

In the midst of celebrating Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, I also celebrated the Kentucky Derby.  Before heading out to Chuy's I stopped by a friends for mint juleps and to watch the races.  I brought my favorite bourbon treat (my favorite hard liquor, btdub) Bourbon Balls.

I got the recipe from the Williams Sonoma Baking cookbook.  These bite-sized treats pack a real punch because they contain a hefty serving of bourbon and don't bake, making each bite equivalent to the sip of a cocktail.

Here's how I made Bourbon Balls, eat responsibly.

  • 1 box vanilla wafers
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I use chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup (I use Karo syrup)
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups pecans, lightly toasted and finely chopped 
*I use this recipe without pecans, but it's totally up to your preference.  I use powdered sugar  to dust the outside instead.

  • In a food processor, pulse the vanilla wafers into a fine crumb.  You can also do this by putting the cookies in a plastic bag and rolling with a rolling pin.  

  • In a double broiler, melt the chocolate.  You can create a double broiler by placing a glass bowl over a saucepan with some water in it.  Make sure the bowl does not touch the water and do not bring the water to a boil but simmer.  It will take a while for the chocolate to start to melt, but once it does keep stirring so as not to burn it.  You can do this in the microwave as well, but it's easier to accidentally burn the chocolate that way.  

  • Add the melted chocolate to the vanilla wafers and add in brown sugar, corn syrup, bourbon and salt.  Stir until blended together.  If you want to add pecans, here add half to the mixture.  

  • Spread wax paper out and sprinkle powdered sugar (or pecans if you prefer).  Roll the batter with your hands (slightly dampened) into 1 inch balls.  Then roll in either powdered sugar or pecans.  Arrange in a container in layers with wax paper and refrigerate for 24 hours.  Serve at room temperature.  You can keep the balls in the fridge for 2 weeks or freeze and keep good for 1 month.  

Recipe via Williams Sonoma

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