Pioneer Woman Bourbon Balls – Easy Kitchen Guide

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By Dr. Leah Alexander | Published on June 19, 2023 | Last Updated on August 19, 2023

Pioneer Woman’s Bourbon Balls are an easy and delicious dessert that will make any occasion special. Created by Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, these bourbon balls are made with just a few ingredients and are sure to be a hit! Perfect for a holiday party or backyard gathering.

Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to make Pioneer Woman’s Bourbon Balls & learn every detail regarding this Pioneer Woman’s Bourbon Balls.

Pioneer Woman Bourbon Balls

What are Pioneer Woman’s Bourbon Balls?

Pioneer Woman’s Bourbon Balls are a unique and delicious treat. The combination of vanilla wafer cookies, pecans, cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, bourbon, and dark corn syrup creates a rich and flavorful treat that will satisfy any sweet tooth. 

Coated in melted bittersweet chocolate and topped with a single pecan half, these are sure to be the center of attention! Surely, this will win you loads of compliments.

What does it taste like?

These bourbon balls have a rich flavor that is both sweet and savory. The combination of vanilla wafer cookies, pecans, and cocoa powder creates a unique texture that is crunchy yet creamy. 

The strong flavor of the bourbon cuts through the sweetness and adds a subtle warmth. The coating of bittersweet chocolate adds a richness that ties everything together for an unforgettable treat!

How did I first get introduced to the Pioneer Woman’s Bourbon Balls?

I first heard about Pioneer Woman’s Bourbon Balls from a friend, who had gotten the recipe from Ree Drummond’s cookbook. I was immediately intrigued by the idea of a sweet treat that combined bourbon with chocolate, and she promised me that it was easy to make. 

After trying them for myself, I can confidently say that this is one of my favorite desserts! Since then, it has become a staple at all of my gatherings.

How to Make Pioneer Woman’s Bourbon Balls?

Making Pioneer Woman’s Bourbon Balls is a simple and straightforward process. Below are the ingredients & step-by-step instructions for this:

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Ingredients

  • Vanilla wafer cookies: this will provide a cookie-like texture for the balls.
  • Pecan halves: these will add a crunch and nutty flavor to the balls.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: this adds sweetness and rich chocolate flavor.
  • Confectioners’ sugar: this is used to sweeten the bourbon balls.
  • Bourbon: this provides an alcoholic taste that cuts the sweetness.
  • Dark corn syrup: this helps bind the ingredients together and adds sweetness.
  • Vanilla extract: this adds an extra layer of flavor to the balls.
  • Kosher salt: a pinch will help bring out all of the flavors in the recipe.
  • Bittersweet chocolate: for melting and coating the bourbon balls.
  • Coconut oil or vegetable shortening: for melting the chocolate.
  • Pecan halves: these will be used to decorate and garnish the bourbon balls.
Pioneer Woman Bourbon Balls

Step-by-step instructions

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F (176ºC). Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast in preheated oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Step 2

In a food processor, coarsely grind the 3 1/2 cups vanilla wafer cookies until they form crumbs. Add pecans and blend until combined.

Step 3

In a large bowl, combine cookie-pecan mixture with cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, bourbon, corn syrup, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir until combined.

Step 4

Using a tablespoon measure, scoop out the dough and roll it into 1-inch balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 10 minutes or until firm.

Step 5

Melt together bittersweet chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth.

Step 6

Dip the balls into melted chocolate, using a fork to turn them, and coat evenly. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and top each ball with a single pecan half. Return to the freezer for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate coating to set before serving.

Tips

• Make sure to use high-quality ingredients for the best flavor results!

• For extra crunch, add chopped peanuts or almonds to the cookie-pecan mixture.

• To make this recipe gluten-free, use a certified gluten-free vanilla wafer cookie instead of regular ones.

Pioneer Woman Bourbon Balls

Pioneer Woman Bourbon Balls

Pioneer Woman's Bourbon Balls are an easy and delicious dessert that will make any occasion special. Created by Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, these bourbon balls are made with just a few ingredients and are sure to be a hit! Perfect for a holiday party or backyard gathering. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to make Pioneer Woman's Bourbon Balls & learn every detail regarding this Pioneer Woman's Bourbon Balls.
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Author: Dr. Leah Alexander
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 20 Balls
Calories: 113kcal

Equipment

  • 13×9” Baking Pan
  • mixing bowl
  • Spatula

Ingredients

Bourbon Balls

  • 7 ounces vanilla wafer cookies
  • 1 1/4 cups pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup bourbon

For Coating

  • 5 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 25 pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable shortening

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (176ºC). Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast in preheated oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  • In a food processor, coarsely grind the 3 1/2 cups vanilla wafer cookies until they form crumbs. Add pecans and blend until combined.
  • In a large bowl, combine cookie-pecan mixture with cocoa powder, confectioners' sugar, bourbon, corn syrup, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir until combined.
  • Using a tablespoon measure, scoop out the dough and roll it into 1-inch balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 10 minutes or until firm.
  • Melt together bittersweet chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth.
  • Dip the balls into melted chocolate, using a fork to turn them, and coat evenly. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and top each ball with a single pecan half. Return to the freezer for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate coating to set before serving.

Notes

  • Make sure to use high-quality ingredients for the best flavor results!
  • For extra crunch, add chopped peanuts or almonds to the cookie-pecan mixture.
  • To make this recipe gluten-free, use a certified gluten-free vanilla wafer cookie instead of regular ones.
Keyword: pioneer woman bourbon balls

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 of 25 servings

Calories 113 kcal

Total Fat 8 g

Saturated Fat 2 g

Carbohydrates 11 g

Dietary Fiber 1 g

Sugar 8 g

Protein 1 g

Cholesterol 0 mg

Sodium 16 mg

What to serve with Pioneer Woman’s Bourbon Balls?

Pioneer Woman’s Bourbon Balls are a great addition to any party or gathering. Serve them with other desserts, like brownies or cookies, and accompany them with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate for a delicious dessert spread. They can also be served as part of a cheese platter, alongside some savory snacks.

How to store leftover Pioneer Woman’s Bourbon Balls?

You can store leftover Pioneer Woman’s Bourbon Balls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. If you need to store them for a longer period of time, place the container in the refrigerator and keep them for up to one week. 

To freeze, transfer the balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and put them into the freezer until solid. Then, place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and store them for up to three months. When ready to eat, thaw the balls in the refrigerator overnight.

Can pregnant women eat this?

Pregnant women should consult their doctor before consuming alcohol-based recipes, such as these Bourbon Balls. While the small amount of bourbon in this recipe is likely to be safe for most people, it’s always best to check with a medical professional before eating any food that contains alcohol.

FAQs 

Can I use regular sugar instead of confectioners’ sugar?

Yes, you can substitute regular granulated sugar for confectioners’ sugar in this recipe. Keep in mind that the texture of the bourbon balls may be slightly different than if you had used confectioners’ sugar.

Do I have to use a double boiler to melt the chocolate?

No, you can also melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl by heating it at 30-second intervals and stirring in between.

Can I add other ingredients to this?

Absolutely! Feel free to get creative and experiment with different flavors. Some potential additions could include diced dried fruit, nuts, shredded coconut, or even a splash of flavored liqueur.

Are bourbon balls alcoholic?

Yes, the bourbon does add some alcohol to these balls. However, due to the small amount of bourbon used and the freezing time, most of the alcohol will evaporate during cooking leaving very little behind in each ball. It’s best to check with a medical professional before consuming any food containing alcohol.

Wrapping Up

Thank you for reading our article about Pioneer Woman’s Bourbon Balls. We hope that this recipe will help you to make a delicious and memorable dessert for your next gathering! To ensure the best flavor results, be sure to use high-quality ingredients.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below. And don’t forget to share this delicious recipe with your friends and family!

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Author Profile

Dr. Leah Alexander, M.D., is a board-certified Pediatrician in New Jersey and has been working at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000.
She also has a passion for culinary arts that extends beyond the medical realm. After completing culinary school at the French Culinary Institute, she started Global Palate, LLC, a catering firm, in 2007. She ran her own six-year-old catering company and served small group parties as an owner and executive chef.

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