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Bourbon Balls

May 2, 2013

[Photograph: Sarah Baird]

Buttery chocolate-covered bourbon balls with pecans are a perfect Derby Day treat.

About the author: Sarah Baird is a writer, editor, and petit four aficionado living in New Orleans, Louisiana. She likes planning elaborate dinner parties surrounded by her collection of dwarf citrus trees. You can read her latest musings and about her various misadventures on her website: or follow her on Twitter: @scbaird.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Special equipment: refridgerator, parchment paper, plastic wrap


serves 20 1-inch bourbon balls, active time 30 minutes, total time 3 hours 30 minutes

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (melted)
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 7 tablespoons top-shelf bourbon
  • 1/4 cup crushed pecans
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 20 to 30 pecan halves


  1. Combine butter, sugar, and bourbon in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Refrigerate mixture for one hour. Using a melon baller, form mixture into 1-inch balls. Place balls on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate until firm. Remove balls, wrap individually with plastic wrap, and freeze for a minimum of two hours.

  2. Combine chocolate chips and whole milk in double boiler over medium heat, stirring until melted. One at a time, use a dipping fork (or toothpick) to submerge buttercream balls in chocolate, coating on all sides.

  3. Place on baking pan lined with parchment paper, garnish with pecan half. Allow balls to completely harden before eating.

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