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In the Kitchen With: Jennifer Martine’s Bourbon Balls

by Kristina Gill

We saved the best for last this year as we sign off until 2013. I have a fond memory from my childhood of bourbon-soaked treats at Christmastime: I loved getting into the round tin of bourbon balls between layers of wax paper. I wasn’t nearly as fond of fruit cake, though my little brother coveted the loaf our grandmother gave to him every year. Photographer Jennifer Martine, who previously shared her great salted chocolate chip cookies and bagna cauda recipes with us, is now sharing her recipe for Gold-Dusted Orange-Scented Bourbon Balls. Beautiful! Happy holidays! — Kristina

About Jennifer: Jennifer Martine is a food and lifestyle photographer based in the San Francisco Bay area. She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband, Tyler; their son, Quentin; and their dog, Miles. Her recent publications include Bryant Terry’s The Inspired Vegan and Salty Snacks by Cynthia Nims.

See Jennifer’s recipe after the jump!

Gold-Dusted Orange-Scented Bourbon Balls
Adapted from a recipe at Epicurious


  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon edible gold powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange oil (optional)
  • 2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 1/2 cup walnuts toasted and chopped fine
  • 1/3+ cup bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons honey



1. In a small bowl, sift together cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar and whisk in gold powder until combined well.

2. In a bowl, stir together wafer crumbs and walnuts. In another bowl, whisk together bourbon, remaining 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, orange oil and honey and pour into crumb mixture, stirring with a fork until combined well. Form teaspoons of mixture into balls and roll, four at a time, in cocoa mixture.

3. Bourbon balls may be kept, in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container lined with wax paper, in a cool, dry place for one week.

Why Jennifer Loves This Recipe

I love this recipe because it is simple, easy to do and impressive with little time and effort. If you want to have fun with them, you can roll them in more gold, however you prefer. And who doesn’t love chocolate and bourbon?! Your friends will love it you when you hand them these homemade goodies in a bag or jar. Include a little bottle of bourbon to go with, and they will love you even more! ;)

Portrait by Michelle Warren

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