Bittersweet Chocolate Bourbon balls are a no-bake delight for any time of the year, but especially at the holidays! Made with Oreos, walnuts, Kentucky Bourbon and bittersweet chocolate, I like to dip them in melted chocolate, dust them with unsweetened cocoa or powdered sugar. They make a great gift, an addition to a cookie tray and they are delightful paired with a glass of champagne.
Looking for a great little hostess gift, a treat for a neighbor, or a co-worker for the holidays? A little tin of these Chocolate Bourbon Balls and a bottle of their favorite libation will be sure to make them smile!
No-bake easy chocolate Bourbon balls made with Oreos
Bourbon chocolate balls are so simple. The hardest part is removing the cream from the Oreos… but sometimes you can find Oreo chocolate cookies with just the biscuit and no cream filling. They will be on the baking aisle instead of the cookies and snacks aisle if your store has them.
All you have to do is make an easy dough and roll up little Bourbon balls from the mixed ingredients. No baking is necessary since the “cookie dough” is already cooked. The oil from the nuts and alcohol from the bourbon creates a binder that holds everything together.
Lots of ways to do Chocolate bourbon balls
This Chocolate Bourbon Balls recipe suggests a few variations, but you can get endlessly creative with them. I suggest coating them in chocolate or powdering them with sugar or cocoa. But, you can add everything from sprinkles to nut crumbles, crushed candies, and sweetened coconut.
And when you have tried all of those then you can start mixing and matching for so many other variations! And I haven’t even started with the different types of chips to melt and coat them with… butterscotch, white chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel… and the list goes on.
Simple Ingredients in this Chocolate Bourbon Ball Recipe
Walnuts, Oreos, bittersweet chocolate, Kentucky Bourbon, shortening, cocoa powder and powdered sugar are all you’ll need to make these amazing bourbon balls!
Place walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, give them a stir every couple of minutes. Walnuts are done with they become fragrant and golden brown.
Prepare your Oreo cookie crumbs in your food processor.
Cool walnuts completely before adding them to the food processor and chopping them until they are fine, but not over-processed.
In a bowl, combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, ground walnuts, cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Stir in bourbon until combined.
Moisten your hands with cold water, to prevent the dough from sticking and shape the mixture into 3/4″ balls. ( I made twelve 1 1/2″ balls)
Place them on a parchment-lined sheet and cover them lightly with plastic wrap. Chill 8 hours or overnight.
To coat with melted chocolate, melt bittersweet chocolate and shortening in the microwave, stirring until smooth.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Dip bourbon balls into the melted chocolate mixture and place them on the wax paper-lined baking sheet. Place them back in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes to set the chocolate.
Alternatively, you can roll the balls in unsweetened cocoa powder or in powdered sugar to give them a different look. To make them festive looking for holidays, you could also sprinkle them with sparkling sugar or sprinkles after they are dipped in chocolate.
Place the bourbon balls in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to one week.
*Find the complete printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
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Bittersweet Chocolate Bourbon Balls F.A.Q’s
Is there Alcohol in Bourbon Balls?
Plain and simple, there is a bit of alcohol in Bourbon Balls. However, it isn’t much. A little bit goes a long way in terms of adding the flavor. However, you would have to eat quite a few to actually induce any sort of intoxication. Like you might be more impacted by the sugar rush before the alcohol took any effect because you would have to eat that many.
That being said, anyone that is allergic to alcohol, or avoids it for any other reason should consider non-alcoholic versions.
What to substitute for non-alcoholic bourbon balls?
If you want to avoid alcohol entirely, then non-alcoholic bourbon balls are possible. There are a few ways you can go. You can substitute with vanilla extract, or use different types of fruit juices. Apple, orange, or grape juice are all possible.
Can you get intoxicated from eating bourbon balls?
Getting back to the intoxication question… The amount of alcohol per serving is less than a teaspoon. So you would have to eat quite a few bourbon balls before impacting any sort of blood alcohol level.
Can I use other alcohol besides bourbon for chocolate bourbon balls?
If alcohol is not an issue, then alcohols offer yet another way to customize the flavors. Many recipes suggest using Rum, but really anything is possible. Tequila, vodka, even gin would work if you want a more savory option. You can also use any sort of flavored liqueur like brandy, or curacao and creme de menthe.
Do bourbon balls have to be refrigerated?
As long as you store them in an airtight container, then these will store easily in the fridge for up to a week. Of course, the alcohol, if it is in there, will evaporate some, but the flavor is still great.
A few years back, I made this vintage recipe for Mocha Rum Balls. These show how using spiced rum, vanilla wafers and chocolate-covered coffee beans gives a whole new spin to this timeless holiday confection.
Dark chocolate vs semisweet bourbon chocolates
With homemade bourbon balls, you can certainly coat them in dark chocolate or milk chocolate too. I typically lean toward bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate, which I find to be the best of both worlds in one.
In the case of the bourbon ball recipe though, I find that bittersweet chocolate balances the chocolate and bourbon best. Dark chocolate takes over the bourbon flavor a little bit, and the milk chocolate gets lost in the bourbon. Bittersweet gets the chocolate and the bourbon right in the right place. But be your own judge, if you want to add another twist, then changing up the sort of chocolate chips you use just adds another option.
Bourbon Ball recipe with Kentucky bourbon
Bourbon balls wouldn’t be the same without Kentucky bourbon. The slightly smoky flavor of the bourbon aged in charred white oak just goes so well with the toasted walnuts. Of course, if you don’t have bourbon, then any whiskey can be substituted. (Just don’t let anyone from Kentucky catch me saying that.)
More “Boozy” Treats for you to Enjoy!
- Bread Pudding Soufflé with Whiskey Sauce – use some of that leftover bourbon for this gorgeous dessert!
- Eggnog Fudge
- Kahlua Krinkles
- Homemade Irish Cream
- Mocha Chocolate Chip Icebox Cake
- Apple Dumplings with Spiced Rum Caramel Sauce
Time to get to the chocolate bourbon ball recipe!
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped fine
- 2 cups ( about 26 Oreos) chocolate sandwich cookies, cream removed, crushed
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup Kentucky Bourbon
- 1 ½ cup bittersweet chocolate baking chips
- 2 teaspoons shortening
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, give them a stir every couple of minutes. Walnuts are done with they become fragrant and golden brown. Cool walnuts completely before adding them to a food processor and chopping them until they are fine, but not over-processed.
- In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, ground walnuts, cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Stir in bourbon until combined.
- Moisten your hands with cold water, to preven tthe dough from sticking. Shape mixture into 3/4" to 1 1/2" balls. ( I made twelve 1 1/2" balls) Place them on a parchment lined sheet and cover them lightly with plastic wrap.
- Chill 8 hours or overnight.
- To coat with melted chocolate, melt bittersweet chocolate and shortening in the microwave, stirring until smooth.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Dip bourbon balls into melted chocolate mixture and place them on the wax paper lined baking sheet. Place them back in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes to set the chocolate.
- Alternatively, you can roll the balls in unsweetened cocoa powder or in powdered sugar to give them a different look. To make them festive looking for holidays, you could also sprinkle them with sparkling sugar or sprinkles after they are dipped in chocolate.
- Place the bourbon balls to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to one week.
- *note that they powdered sugar ones don't refridgerate well.
They make a beautiful gift! Place the balls in mini muffin tin liners and into a decorative tin.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 25mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g
Nutrition isn't guaranteed accurate
Welcome to #ChristmasSweetsWeek 2020! Co-hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! What better way to celebrate the holidays than with food and fun? 21 bloggers from around the country have come together to share some of their favorite sweet Christmas recipes!! Deck the halls and get ready for very merry sweet treats, like fudge, cookies, Christmas morning breakfasts, layer cakes, cocoa, and more! Follow along on social media with our #ChristmasSweetsWeek hashtag. Happy Holidays!
Enjoy these #ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes from our bloggers:
Frozen Eggnog Cocktail by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Pastry and Dessert Recipes
Achu Murukku / Rosette Cookies by Magical Ingredients
Bittersweet Chocolate Bourbon Balls by An Affair from the Heart
Candy Cane White Chocolate Cookies by The Redhead Baker
Candy Crunch Ice Cream Cake by The Mandatory Mooch
Carrot Cake Crinkle Sandwich Cookies by Bear & Bug Eats
Chocolate Covered Cherry Mice by The Spiffy Cookie
Gingerbread Men Cookies by Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog
Peppermint Fudge Cake by Simply Inspired Meals
St Louis Gooey Butter Cake by For the Love of Food