this recipe

Bourbon balls are a Kentucky delicacy, invented here back in 1938 by Ruth Hanley Booe. Naturally, ours are made with Maker’s Mark® and feature a bourbon-infused pecan on top. Best of all, this recipe yields four dozen, so there’s plenty for you and plenty to gift to your soon-to-be-closer friends.

Preparation Time
4 hours 50 minutes, not including pecan soaking time

Cook Time
10 minutes

Total Time
5 hours

  • 1 cup bourbon-soaked chopped pecans
  • 1 lb. confectioners’ sugar + 2 cups extra
  • 1/4 lb. unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. Hershey’s® All Natural unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 4 tbsp. grated paraffin
  • Whole pecans for topping each bourbon ball
Need alt text



A bottle of Maker's Mark Classic sits next to a bowl of chocolate and pecan bourbon balls.
  • Step 1

    Soak pecans for a week

    DO AHEAD: Place pecans in a jar – add Maker’s Mark® to cover 1 inch over pecans. Approx. 1-1/2 cups. Cover tightly with lid and let stand 7–10 days for pecans to absorb bourbon flavor.

  • Step 2

    Drain the pecans

    Drain bourbon-soaked pecans thoroughly and set aside. Discard the whisky. It will be bitter and unusable now.
  • Step 3

    Prepare the cream

    In a large bowl, cream the butter by using an electric mixer.
  • Step 4

    Blend sugar, butter and Maker's Mark®

    Add 1 pound sugar and Maker’s Mark® Bourbon alternately to the butter until blended.

  • Step 5

    Add the pecans

    Gently stir in pecans.
  • Step 6

    Place in refrigerator

    Refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow the mixture to stiffen.
  • Step 7

    Prepare bowl and baking sheet

    Place 2 cups sugar in a small bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Step 8

    Roll into balls

    Remove mixture from refrigerator. Scoop tablespoon-sized portions from mixture. Drop into sugar and then roll 1-inch ball. Place on baking sheet.
  • Step 9

    Place in balls refrigerator

    Refrigerate 2 hours.
  • Step 10

    Melt the chocolate

    Melt chocolate and paraffin in a small double boiler or use a coffee mug in a pan of boiling water. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
  • Step 11

    Dip in chocolate and top with pecan

    Using a long toothpick, dip each ball into the chocolate and place back on the baking sheet. Immediately top with a whole pecan and allow to cool.
  • Step 12

    Serve and enjoy

    Serve at room temperature. Store in refrigerator covered for up to 2 weeks.
A bottle of Maker's Mark bourbon whisky behind a tall glass with a Bourbon Bloody Mary over ice and a pickle, celery, and lime garnish. A small bowl of lime slices is to the left.

Maker's Mark® Bourbon Balls

Red icon on a cream-colored background, representing a refrigerator.

Freezer easer

If your mixture is loose or difficult to work with, try placing it in the freezer for a few minutes. This should help stiffen it up a little bit.
Red icon on a cream-colored background, representing a chocolate bar.

Wax on

Paraffin might seem like a strange ingredient, but the flavorless wax adds a nice shiny finish to the confection once it has hardened. It also prevents the chocolate from melting at room temperature.
Red icon on a cream-colored background, representing a bottle

Not for kiddos

Since bourbon balls are not cooked in any way, the Maker’s Mark® in them is fully active. Difficult as it may be, don’t eat too many and do keep these out of the reach of children.

More Recipes

Maker's Mark®

Sweet with balance of oak, vanilla and fruity essences 

A photo of the classic Maker's Mark bourbon whisky bottle.