Growing up in Texas with a large family of aunts, uncles and cousins, the holidays were a very festive time of year. Of course it was filled with traditions, like practical jokes my uncles played on each other every year, and good food, like my grandma’s hand-painted Santa Claus cookies, tamale feasts for Christmas Eve dinner, and my Aunt Kristina’s famous milk punch. That milk punch…it was a long time before I got to partake, given the drink is laden with bourbon, brandy, and rum. But oh that Southern tradition, served in punch glasses with a dash of nutmeg on top, is forever ingrained in my memory. I love to whip it up this time of year to reminisce, but this year decided to take that holiday memory one step further as my inspiration for a recipe for a virtual cookie swap with Cascadian Farm!
In a spin on your standard “bourbon ball,” I decided to use Cascadian Farm’s Ancient Grains Granola as my base–traditional recipes use crushed vanilla wafers or graham crackers. We actually regularly have Ancient Grains Granola in our pantry, so it was a no-brainer to team up for this recipe. To get a gingerbread taste, I added molasses and plenty of spice. Then of course, there’s the bourbon, which pulls through unmistakably from the depth of the gingerbread flavor for one incredibly tasty bite. Best part? These require no baking, so they’re great for last-minute cookie exchanges and get-togethers, and perfect for the not-so-talented bakers among us!
Gingerbread Bourbon Balls
3 cups pecans, toasted then chopped fine
3 cups Cascadian Farm Ancient Grains Granola, chopped fine
1 cup of dried Turkish apricots, chopped fine
1/3 cup of Bullet bourbon
1/2 cup powered sugar, plus extra for dusting
5 tablespoons of full-flavor molasses
3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each of ground nutmeg, allspice and cloves
Prepare a large baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper. In a small pan, toast the pecans until lightly browned. Chop the first three ingredients, separately, using a small food processor. In a medium-sized bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Then add the bourbon and molasses and using your hands, combine well. Using a tablespoon, scoop out heaping spoonfuls, placing the mixture in the palms of your hands and patting and rolling into balls. Place each ball on the parchment-lined baking sheet. If your hands start to get sticky, sprinkle them with water in between rounds. The recipe should make about 3-4 dozen balls. Finally, dust each ball with powdered sugar using a handheld fine-mesh sifter/strainer. No baking or refrigerating required.
If boozy gingerbread balls aren’t sending you into the kitchen to get baking, six other bloggers are sharing their favorite cookie recipes today as part of the swap too!
Raspberry Coconut Crumble Bars from Waiting on Martha
Cereal Maple Nut Brittle from Freutcake
Salted Honey Nut Butterscotch Blondies from Clara Persis
No-Bake Cranberry Oat Chews from House of Earnest
Molasses Ginger Maple Granola Cookie from Young Married Chic
Cinnamon Crunch Oatmeal and White Chocolate Cookies from Peanut Butter Runner
This post was created in partnership with Cascadian Farm but all opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who allow me to create new content for Perpetually Chic!