Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bourbon balls found!

While cleaning in places that don’t get cleaned enough, I found a scrap of paper with a recipe for bourbon balls scrawled on it. Now, in a perfect world this bit of history would be all but undecipherable, layered with stain upon stain and brittle as grandma’s old bones; the ink a mere whisper of my very own Mamaw’s schooled penmanship. Ah, venerable ancient relic!

Truth be told, Cordie Ellen’s chicken scratch on paper was the Devil’s own chore to make out. I know, I scored countless headaches translating her love letters to W.P. into something that resembled late 19th, early 20th century Southern American English. And while Cordie fully appreciated a good bourbon...ONE good bourbon...with eggnog...on Christmas Eve...she wasn’t likely to go wasting good whiskey on a cookie. So no way this was Mamaw Saunders’ recipe. I had written it myself some three or four years ago.

Annie & I had come off the road, maybe a year earlier, I guess. Coming back to River City wasn’t exactly our first choice. More like our only choice. Times were hard, living in a poorly restored garage and both working at jobs we would have been happier without. Now throw in Christmas bearing down on us, and you’ve pretty well got the scene.

What better time for.....wait for it......BOURBON BALLS!!!

I had eaten bourbon balls. I had never made bourbon balls. Didn’t have the foggiest notion what, exactly, went into them other than the obvious. So off I went to the library’s free computer lab to consult the Oracle, Yahoo. Turned out good bourbon balls are much simpler than I had imagined.

We both pronounced that first, basic batch as surprisingly good. A little tweaking of a component here and a measure there, and the second batch did not disappoint, either. Annie took the third batch to work with her, and came home empty save requests for the recipe.

“Tell ‘em it’s a closely-guarded family secret that goes all the way back to the Great Depression,” I told her.

“They’ll just want to know what a bourbon ball recipe has to do with a big hole in the ground,” Annie said.

“Well, tell ‘em this recipe goes to my grave with me, just as I promised my Dear Old Grandmother.”

I was going to give the recipe to a few of Annie’s select acquaintances, the few who came close to being actual friends, anyway. But the scribbled recipe got tossed into a drawer and otherwise buried until and mostly forgotten.

Until today.

Humbly presented here, dear reader, for your approval, one free recipe for bourbon balls, pretty much as I scribbled it, lo, not so many years ago.

Combine 1 c v.waffer crumbs, 1 c pecans, 1 c con sugar, 2 Tblsp cocoa powder.
Blend 1/4c Jack, 1 Tblsp + 1-1/2 tsp lt cn syrup.
Stir Jack mix into dry blend.
Cover & chill, hours
Form balls & roll in con. sugar
Store in air-tight cont. in fridge
Roll in con. sugar

That second and final roll in the confectioners’ sugar is to be done just before passing these puppies around. Oh, no need to wait for the holidays.
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