Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Confections - Day 1

Day 1 - Bourbon Balls

Delicious bourbon balls. I heard an interview on NPR around the time of the Kentucky Derby this year, the interview was with the Cellar Door Chocolates company based out of Louisville about their bourbon balls. As I listened, about half way through the segment, I was laughing hysterically at the similarity it had to the classic Saturday Night Live Christmas piece, Schweddy Balls, one of my all time favorites. I could not forget the entertaining NPR segment all year long and (with a chuckle) stored the idea of trying out the bourbon ball recipe in the back of my mind. Well, the holidays are here and there is no better way to highlight, NPR and my all time favorite Christmas skit than to have the bourbon balls kick of the first day of the 12 Days of Christmas Confections, where I will post a sweet treat for the next twelve days. This bourbon ball recipe is one that you will want to keep in your arsenal of secret "go to" recipes, they are rich, creamy and chocolaty with the perfect balanced kick of bourbon. I rolled mine in chopped mixed nuts, which was fabulous but something to note is that before they are rolled in the nuts, the naked balls are also delicious dropped in to a cup of coffee, as NPR suggests. This recipe is simple and makes about forty pieces, depending on the size you prefer your balls. One other highlight of this recipe, is that the bourbon is added off of the heat so none of the alcohol is cooked out. These bourbon balls are a real crowd pleaser.
Cellar Door Chocolates' Bourbon Truffles by Erika Chavez-Graziano
1 pound dark chocolate (55-71%), chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup Evan Williams bourbon
pinch of sea salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Bring heavy whipping cream to a boil. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; stir until smooth. Add bourbon; stir until well-incorporated. Add salt. Let the chocolate mixture (ganache) rest at room temperature until firm (about 4 hours).
Using two spoons, portion out half ounce balls of ganache. Hand roll balls until smooth and then roll it in the pecans.

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