Make Ahead

Addictive Rum, Bourbon or Grand Marnier Cocoa Balls

November  4, 2014
1 Ratings
  • Makes about 50-55 balls
Author Notes

I don't know anyone who does not enjoy eating a few rum, bourbon or Grand Marnier cocoa balls. They are delicious, in portion-controlled shape (if you can resit eating more than a couple LOL), and addictive. You can give/mail them as a gift, nicely wrapped in some transparent cellophane gift wrapping paper and tied with a colorful ribbon. Or, if you are going to serve them at home, you can place each in individual mini paper baskets. Enjoy! —Regine

What You'll Need
  • 3 cups Finely crushed vanilla wafer cookies. But I also find that an entire 11-12 oz box of vanilla wafer cookies does the trick. I do not even measure.
  • 2 cups Powdered (confectioner's) sugar, plus more to roll the balls
  • 1 cup Finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup Bourbon, Rum, or Grand Marnier (or even Tequila which I used last time by mistake thinking it was whiskey)
  • 1/4 cup Light corn syrup (honey can also be used)
  • optional - 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • optional - 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest (you may want to skip if using Grand Marnier since it is already an orange flavor liqueur)
  1. Mix wafers, sugar, pecans, cocoa . Stir rum/bourbon/grand marnier, corn syrup, and (if using) vanilla extract and orange zest. To form balls that are more consistently shaped, you can scoop the dough into 2 teaspoon worth of dough (or tablespoon if you want the balls bigger), and shape them into balls with your hands. If you find the dough to be a bit too sticky to be shaped, you can place in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour before shaping them. Roll them into a lot of powdered sugar. Can be refrigerated if you want. Tastes even better if served 1 or 2 days later.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Bevi
  • Regine
  • Thistle
  • food52fan

10 Reviews

Bevi November 21, 2021
These are equally fabulous using either rum or bourbon or whiskey. I like to use a favorite booze of the friends who receive these.
Regine November 21, 2021
I agree with you. You remind me I need to make some for myself again. 😀
food52fan December 20, 2020
I just made a batch of these and followed the recipe as written (rum and pecans). It yielded just over 5 dozen rum balls, half covered in cocoa powder and half in finely ground coconut. Of course I had to taste them and they’re delicious! I packaged them in canning jars to mellow in the fridge. Saving this in my favorites!
Regine December 27, 2020
Hello Food52fan, happy you made them and that you liked them. I like the idea of using canning jars. Thanks so much.
nhawman December 14, 2020
Easy and delicious! I pulsed the cookies and nuts together in the food processor for faster chopping. Rolled half in powdered sugar and the other half in granulated sugar. I liked the slightly crunchy coating of the granulated sugar. Kept them on the small side - just over a teaspoon for each. The orange zest worked nicely with the bourbon.
Regine December 15, 2020
Hello Nhawman, you just reminded me about these rum/bourbon balls. I am happy you like them. Because
of you, I will be going today to buy the ingredients to make some for my house. LOL

Thanks for making them and liking them. I will need to try the granular sugar version.
Regine December 16, 2014
Hi Thistle. Thanks so much. Happy you are enjoying them. I am curious so I am going to check the version in Garden and Gun. O)
Thistle December 15, 2014
No worries and thank you for responding Regine! Have been making a lot of these in recent days, for everyone and they are going over pretty big, I must tell you. Am also seeing lots of recipes for them. There is one in Garden & Gun right now that is really complicated~ it even has half 'n half in it, but I am sticking with these, because they are wonderful. Thank you for sharing them!
Regine December 15, 2014
Thistle, so sorry I am responding so late. Somehow your comment never got to my email, and it is only now that I am in Food52 looking at the recipe that I saw your question. Yes, they freeze very well.
Thistle December 6, 2014
These are so festive! I've decided to make these with the bourbon for a Cookie Exchange with the church ladies. Do you know if these freeze okay?