The Mitchell family recipe for these chocolatey confections is “boozy and bad to the bone.”
These chocolaty confections are what Editor-at-Large Shane Mitchell calls Southern truffles—"boozy and bad to the bone." Her family traditionally made them as a treat around the holidays, but these days, they're a year-round staple. We find that Callebaut makes particularly nice sprinkles, but if you’re not wild about them, try swapping in crushed nuts. Chocolate wafers can be substituted for vanilla.
Featured in: “A Southern Christmas North of the Mason-Dixon.”
- ¼ cups light corn syrup
- 3 Tbsp. bourbon, plus more to taste
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 28 vanilla wafers, finely ground (about 1 cup)
- ¼ cup small chocolate sprinkles, plus more as needed
In a small bowl, stir together the corn syrup and bourbon (for boozier flavor, add up to 2 tablespoons more bourbon); set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the pecans, cocoa powder, and vanilla wafers. Add the reserved corn syrup mixture and stir until you have a sticky, slightly gritty uniform mass. Using moistened hands, pinch off 1 scant tablespoon and roll it into a 1-inch ball, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; repeat with the remaining bourbon balls.
To a shallow bowl, add the sprinkles and a few of the balls and roll gently to coat. Transfer the balls to paper candy cups or a platter, then repeat with the remaining balls, adding more sprinkles to the bowl if you run out. Serve at room temperature. (Bourbon balls will keep, refrigerated or stored in a cool place, for up to 2 weeks.)