Holiday cookie recipe: Bourbon balls

Sometimes you just want a no-bake cookie recipe that's short, sweet and easy. Of course, there's an added bonus if it includes bourbon. This recipe comes courtesy of reader Kate Wheeler of Pasadena. She was a finalist one year in our L.A. Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off. She writes:

"Something about the flavor of liquor in desserts just screams 'holiday' to me. Maybe it's a nod to fruitcake and plum pudding, or maybe it's just a way to get through all the family gatherings of the holidays."

BOURBON BALLS

Total time: 1 hour, plus chilling time for the dough | Makes about 4 dozen bourbon balls

Note: Submitted by Kate Wheeler of Pasadena.

10 ounces Nilla wafers or graham crackers, crushed into crumbs (about 2 1/2 cups crumbs)
1 cup finely ground pecan halves
1/2 cup powdered sugar
6 ounces chocolate chips
1/2 cup bourbon
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
Granulated sugar, for dusting

1. In a large bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs, ground pecans and powdered sugar.

2. In a microwaveable bowl, microwave the chocolate until it's melted (I usually do it for 30 seconds, then in 10-second intervals, stirring between each interval, and stop before they're totally melted because they'll melt as you stir). Stir in bourbon and corn syrup to combine (the chocolate will seize a bit and the bourbon won't incorporate well. Just do the best you can).

3. Add the chocolate mixture to the crumb mixture, and stir until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.

4. Pour some granulated sugar into a dish. Form the chocolate mixture into small balls the size of grapes, and roll each ball in the sugar.

Each of 4 dozen cookies 73 calories; 1 gram protein; 9 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 4 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 mg cholesterol; 6 grams sugar; 20 mg sodium.

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