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Add a fun and festive Christmas cookie to your holiday tray! My Grandmother was famous for her no bake Bourbon Balls, which are made with vanilla wafers and just a few other simple ingredients. Every Southern hostess needs this easy recipe!
I’m so excited to share one of my grandmother’s classic Southern recipes — just in time for the holiday season! Trust me: if you set these Kentucky Bourbon Balls out at a Christmas party, they will be the first treat to disappear!
How to Make Bourbon Balls with Vanilla Wafers:
My grandmother wasn’t a huge baker, so I can assure you that this particular recipe is incredibly easy! You’ll need just 5 ingredients: vanilla wafers, walnuts, sweetened condensed milk, bourbon, and powdered sugar. With a list like that, you can’t go wrong!
And since these are no bake bourbon balls, we’re really just combining the ingredients and rolling them into balls! I told you this was simple…
Do Bourbon Balls have alcohol?
Um, yes. And it’s not subtle! You definitely want to use a high quality Kentucky bourbon that you would actually sip on, because the taste of the bourbon comes through in these cookies (and yes, even non-bourbon drinkers like me LOVE them)! We typically go with either Woodford Reserve or Makers Mark Bourbon Balls!
How long can Bourbon Balls be stored?
Here’s the great thing! They last for a LONG time! Unlike other Christmas cookies that get dry, hard, or stale after just a few days on the counter, you can easily prepare a batch of these cookies at least 1-2 weeks in advance and they will stay fresh in the refrigerator.
They will keep in your freezer for at least 1 month.
How to store the cookies:
Make sure that you keep the balls chilled in an airtight container. If you have deep containers, you can store them in layers, separating them with wax paper or parchment.
They’re fine to leave out on a holiday cookie tray for a party, but they tend to get soft if they’re left out for too long. I prefer to keep the balls in my refrigerator, only taking them out when I’m ready to serve them.
To freeze the balls, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and then again in foil.
I recommend rolling the cookies in another coating of powdered sugar, just before serving. They’ll look fresh and new again!
You might also like these Christmas cookies:
- Old-Fashioned Williamsburg Gingerbread Cookies
- 3-Ingredient Scottish Shortbread Cookies
- Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- No Bake Haystack Cookies
- Great Grandma’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
My Grandmother's Bourbon Balls
- 3 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers I used an entire 11 ounce box
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup bourbon
- Powdered sugar, for rolling
- Combine wafer crumbs and nuts in a large bowl. Add condensed milk and bourbon. Blend well. Chill for about 1 hour.
- Pour about 1 cup of powdered sugar into a shallow dish.
- Dip the palms of your hands into the powdered sugar and shape the “dough” by teaspoonfuls into round balls. Roll in powdered sugar.
- Store bourbon balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.