Make Ahead

Addictive Rum, Bourbon or Grand Marnier Cocoa Balls

November  4, 2014
0 Ratings
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

  • Makes about 50-55 balls
  • 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)
In This Recipe
  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.
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See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Regine
  • Thistle
  • food52fan
  • nhawman

8 Reviews

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!
Author Comment
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.
Author Comment
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.
Author Comment
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!
Author Comment
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?