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Recipe: Bourbon Balls, Rum Balls

I first ran this post back in my early days of blogging when my mom was practically the only one who read my posts. I’m re-running it now because the recipe came from my mom, so its first iteration was kind of pointless. Now maybe one or two other readers will be able to enjoy Bourbon Balls and Rum Balls this holiday season.

Yes, I understand this is early for December holiday prep (or super late, if you are a retailer) but when you see how yummy these are, you’re going to want to have a batch on hand for each party to go to or host.

Though my mom was the maker of this confection, I associate the recipe with my dad. In a 3-ring kitchen binder in my kitchen cabinet is a tattered photocopy of my dad’s handwriting, dated 1967 (? never could read his writing). Now, my dad knows his way around a grill but he most definitely does NOT make cookies. So the fact that he wrote down a recipe and hung on to it means that it made him a hit at work. He and my mom made batches of Bourbon Balls every December for him to bring to his aerospace facility (think Mad Men with pocket protectors). The treats held a fascination for me because the whole time I was growing up, I was unable to partake.

Now I can. And I do.

Bourbon Balls (or, as I prefer, Rum Balls)

Bourbon Balls by rcakewalk2 1/2 C crushed vanilla wafers
1 C confectioners sugar
1 C chopped pecans (optional)
2 T powdered cocoa
3 T white corn syrup
1/2 – 3/4 C bourbon or rum or scotch. Pick your poison.

Mix ingredients in order given. Form balls, roll in confectioners sugar. Store in covered container.


Oh, dear. Because I have changed the way I think about food, and because food suppliers have changed the way they produce food, there’s not much on this ingredient list that is suitable for me any more (score one for cocoa!).

Whatever. I can pay homage to my childhood by indulging in Rum Balls once (or twice) a year, can’t I?

Image courtesy rcakewalk, Creative Commons 3.0

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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8 Responses

  1. Those look and sound yummy! What do they taste like? I may have to make some to find out. 🙂 Great idea to share your, new to many of us, post again! I especially like the back story of your dad keeping it all those years. 🙂

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