Bourbon Balls _lowres

Photo by PETER FRANK EDWARDS -- Bourbon Balls

Advocate-tested recipe

Bourbon Balls

Makes 48; serves 24. Recipe is from “The Southerner’s Cookbook: Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories” by David DiBenedetto with Phillip Rhodes and the editors of Garden & Gun (Harper Wave).

Buy an 11-ounce box of vanilla wafers and remove two dozen wafers to save for another use.

2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (about 8 ounces)

1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup bourbon

Optional coatings

Finely ground vanilla wafers

Finely chopped pecans or other nuts

Dusting of cocoa powder, cinnamon-sugar, or confections’ sugar

1. Combine the crushed wafers and pecans in a large bowl. Place the chopped chocolate in a separate bowl.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the cream, corn syrup, and cinnamon, place over medium heat, and bring just a boil, stirring constantly. Immediately pour the mixture over the chopped chocolate and whisk to blend in the cream as the chocolate melts. Let cool for 1 to 2 minutes, then whisk in the bourbon.

3. Pour the chocolate mixture over the crumb-nut mixture and stir well to combine. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Form the mixture into balls with a small melon baller (about 2 teaspoons), roll in coatings as desired, and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 1 week.