It's Derby Time (A Little Late!)

I know what you are thinking!  The Kentucky Derby was days ago and now you are finally getting around to posting!  I know. I apologize. Why do all of the fun holidays and events all occur around super busy times in the semester?  Unfortunately, Star Wars Day (See our Instagram account for this year's version of the Death Star cake.  It's getting better!), Derby Day and Cinco De Mayo all happened the last week of the semester. I wonder if there is someone in the college administration I can talk to about this!  Oh well! Mother's Day, Memorial Day and all of the fun summer holidays are coming.  I'll try to do better! 

Every year we have a little family gathering to watch the Kentucky Derby, complete with silly hats and decorations.  This year I made some special bourbon balls to aid in the celebration.  Since bourbon is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, these treats seemed perfect for our little party. 

Bourbon Balls are a southern tradition.  I think most traditional Southern cooks have a recipe in their collection for these delicious grown-up treats. When I was younger I made some that I had to dip in chocolate.  They were amazing, but time consuming (see issues above).  This version is quick and amazingly easy and DELICIOUS!   


1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, plus extra for coating 
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup bourbon 
2 1/2 finely crushed vanilla wafers 
1 cup finely ground toasted pecans (I used "chipped pecans")

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Sift together 1 cup powdered sugar and the 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.  Stir in the corn syrup and bourbon.  Mix in 2 cups vanilla wafers until fully blended.  If the dough is not a stiff consistency, mix in the remaining crushed vanilla wafers just a little at a time until the the desired consistency is reached.  Shape into balls about 1 to 1 1/2 inch in size (I used a a small ice cream scoop to help shape them).  

Sift together the 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the 1/4 cup cocoa powder.  Roll bourbon balls in mixture.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to set. Store in the refrigerator. (If you have any left over!)

Helpful Hints: Use a food processor to crush your vanilla wafers if you have one. Trying to crush them with a rolling pin is difficult and you just can't get them all crushed to the same fine consistency.  If you do not have a food processor- they still taste just as good!  

To toast your pecans: Pre-heat your oven to 350.  Keeping an eye on the nuts, bake for 3-5 minutes, removing when they are just lightly toasted.  They really do not have to be toasted for this recipe, but it adds another layer of deliciousness!

I hope that your favorite won the Derby- now on the the Preakness!  Oh wait- I think that is the same weekend as the Royal Wedding!  What to do? What to do? 

Thanks for stopping by today! 



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