Kentucky Bourbon Balls
“aka "Kentucky Truffles"”
Prep time: 2:00 Overall time: 1 day
24 servings scale / convert
2-1/2 cups pecan halves
7 tbsp. bourbon
8 oz. (2 sticks each) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups of confectioners sugar plus 1 cup more if needed
1 lb. semisweet chocolate (use a good quality brand such as Scharffen Berger or Valhrona)
Puree 1 cup of pecans in a food processor. The mixture should be coarser than peanut butter but finer than chopped pecans. Add the bourbon and pulse another few seconds. Cover and allow mixture to stand at least 24 hours. It must be covered or the alcohol will evaporate away.
In a mixer, beat softened butter until smooth. Add sugar and pecan mixture and blend well on medium speed. If the mixture is too soft to roll into balls, add up to another cup of sugar. If it is still to soft, refrigerate 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast remaining pecans in a skillet over low heat. They should slightly brown, but not burn. Discard any charred ones.
Shape into balls using a spoon or small cookie scoop. Or, place filling mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe onto a cookie sheet. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.
Melt chocolate over a double boiler over low heat. Use a skewer, toothpick, or thin bladed paring knife to dip the balls into the chocolate. Place on waxed paper and top with a pecan before the chocolate hardens. When finished dipping all balls, place tray in refrigerator for 30 minutes to set the chocolate completely.
This recipe should be started at least the day before you plan to serve them. The balls will get stronger the longer they sit. Boldly flavored bourbons such as Woodford Reserve will yield the most classic "bourbon-y" taste.
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