Try These in Your Chocolate Gift Boxes

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On the seventh day of chocolate….

Bourbon balls—even the name generates either rapture or revulsion. If you are lucky, you have had a great version of this traditional holiday treat. If you were unlucky, like we were, you had a gelatinous glob of cheap alcohol and chocolate that permeates your taste memories.

So a little history of the dubious bourbon ball–Ruth Booe invented Bourbon Balls. The idea of mixing candy and bourbon together was accidentally suggested by a dignitary at Frankfort’s sesquicentennial celebration in 1936. He stated that the two best tastes in the world are Mrs. Booe’s candies and fine Kentucky Bourbon. Mrs. Booe worked on the recipe for two years before perfecting the still-secret process for blending bourbon and candy. And then history was made when “Bourbon Balls” were born!

Okay….so we have the perfect updated take on the Bourbon Ball. Let’s talk dates. Okay, some of you will immediately turn up your noses and declare a date will never pass your lips—just like last year’s bourbon ball. Well, they are amazing—moist with a nutty, sweet flavor. They are even called, ‘Nature’s Candy.’ This recipe soaks delicious Mejool dates in premium Kentucky bourbon, adds a touch of maple syrup and a premium bittersweet chocolate.

Pack a dozen or two of these treats in a holiday box or tin and again, you have another great holiday gift idea. Don’t let us tell you we told you so—these things are amazing!

Date Bourbon Truffles


3 cups coarsely chopped Mejool dates, packed

6 Tablespoons bourbon

¾ cup whipping cream

6 Tablespoons maple syrup

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter

¾ teaspoon nutmeg

18 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate

8 ounces 55% to 60% bittersweet chocolate

8 ounces toasted pecans, finely ground


Mix dates and bourbon in a bowl.  Set aside.  Bring cream, syrup, butter and nutmeg to simmer in heavy medium saucepan, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat.  Add chocolate and whisk until smooth and melted.  Stir in date mixture.  Chill until firm.

Scoop with mini-scoop onto parchment paper.  Dip each truffle in 8 ounces tempered bittersweet chocolate.  Roll in ground pecans.

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