Because it’s fun to say “balls.”

20 Dec

Thank you everyone for your incredible comments on my Festive with Whine post.  I don’t know how you do it but you continue to surprise me.  I was in the midst of so many projects at work and all of that needed to get out of my head so I could focus better.  I wrote it in five minutes and just expected a release, never did I expect a discussion to come out of it.  If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I recommend it just so you can read the comments.  You guys are awesome in so many ways.

The end of my craziness is in sight.  I actually never thought I’d want Christmas to be over with already, but this year I’ve never been more ready for the day to actually get here so I can just stop for a moment.  I’m exhausted.

The thing is, I’m not one of those people who can just go out and buy a gift.  No, I have to make it difficult for myself and everyone around me by turning my surroundings into my own personal Santa’s Workshop.  I’m crazy.  But I like to think it’s all worth it.

I thought I’d share with you some of the treats I’ve been making.  I wish I could send each and every one of you your own personal treat box filled with the goods you see here.  But since I can’t at this time (I wouldn’t put it past me to do actually do that at some point), you’ll have to settle for a virtual treat box.  Someone really needs to work on making scratch n’ taste digital photos.

In return for making you drool, I’ll even give you a recipe. But first, the sweets:

whipped egg whites

marshmallows

marshmallows 2

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

(K thought they looked like tofu…but I can assure you, they taste nothing like bean curd and everything like pillowy bits of heaven in your mouth.)

french macarons
french macarons 3

french macarons 2

Chocolate French Macarons with an Orange-Chocolate Ganache

(K thought these looked like mini hamburgers, and I really can’t argue with that.  But these?  These are bite-size chocolatey pieces of goodness.  And as soon as I realized they had a 2-day shelf-life, I made sure they didn’t go to waste.  And by that I mean I ate them.  Almost all of them.)

bark

Salty-Sweet Bark

bourbon balls

Black Cherry Chocolate Bourbon Balls

And now to make up for teasing you like that, here’s the recipe for the Black Cherry Chocolate Bourbon Balls.  They may not look like much, but they are fudgey and delicious, with quite a big kick of bourbon.  I think you can get drunk just from the fumes that are released when opening the container you keep them in.  Just how a bourbon ball should be.

This is adapted from a super-top-secret recipe given to me by a professor at the university I worked at before moving to California, one that was coveted by every employee in our building.  Good thing I charmed him into giving it to me, because it really is the best bourbon ball you will ever have (too bad I’m not giving you that recipe).  I feel comfortable posting my version of it here because I really changed it dramatically, and the main ingredient below is not at all what he has in his, so I think I’m safe.  And a funny little tidbit before you get to the recipe – I had a new bottle of Maker’s Mark (my bourbon of choice) open and ready to be used here, but I just couldn’t waste it like this.  Not that it would have been a complete waste, but Maker’s is meant to be sipped, not mixed with chocolate in my opinion.  I’m glad I’m a bourbon snob, because the Black Cherry bourbon I’ve had on my shelf for almost a year really made the recipe a hit.

Now go forth and make ye’ some balls!  (hehehe)

Black Cherry Chocolate Bourbon Balls
makes 40-50 balls

1 – 10 oz. pkg. Chocolate Teddy Grahams, crushed

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

 1/2 cup of Jim Beam’s Red Stag Black Cherry bourbon (if you can’t find this, any ole’ bourbon will do…but this really takes it up a notch from your everyday bourbon ball, so I recommend trying to find it)

3 tbsp light corn syrup

1 cup chopped pecans (or any type nut)

granulated sugar

In the top of a double-boiler, melt chocolate.  Once smooth, remove from heat and stir in corn syrup and bourbon.  In a large mixing bowl, combine crushed Teddy Grahams, confectioners’ sugar and chopped nuts.  Add chocolate mixture and let stand for 30 minutes.  Shape into 1-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar.

Enjoy with a highball of Maker’s Mark, spiked hot chocolate or hot-buttered rum (stay tuned for the recipe).

Let me know what you think if any of you make them.  I’ll just be on the couch, drunk from the remaining ones I have at home.

Happy Christmas week, everyone!

(If you’re so inclined, check out the treats I made last year)

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16 Responses to “Because it’s fun to say “balls.””

  1. Rachel @ Eggs In A Row December 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    OMG. Drool. All over myself.

    Even your Christmas cookies look all Anthropologie. Insane.

    • missohkay December 20, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

      Anthropologie… tee hee. I have to agree with the drool though!

  2. Trisha December 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    Um I’m gonna need you to send me some of those bourbon balls cause I’m too lazy to make them. K thanx bye.

    • bodegabliss December 20, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

      That would require me not eating all of them. And I’m not sure I can promise something like that.

  3. Tracy December 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    Good lord. I’m trying to resist the Toblerone that I know is up in the kitchen cupboard. There is no WAY I would be able to resist all that goodness in my house.

  4. jjiraffe December 20, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    OK, so I happen to know that each and every one of these treats are insanely good.

    I hope there is a Bodega Bliss Bakery In our area ASAP: virtual or otherwise. That would make the world a better place.

  5. Sara December 21, 2011 at 5:00 am #

    Holy freaking balls. I want some of what you got, sister. Those marshmallows and macarons are enough to make me want to drive all the way to California through the snow and ice of I-80. And really, if they were all gone by the time I got there, I’d be happy licking the confectioners sugar off the cookie tray! You are the bestest pastry chef ever.

  6. Mo December 21, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    Balls. Heh heh. That’s what she said. 🙂

    Whenever I see a post like this from you I feel like I’ve gained five pounds just by looking at the pictures. Yummy!!!!

  7. Justine December 21, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    wow. You made macarons. I’m floored.

  8. Emily @ablanket2keep December 21, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    I am drooling on my keyboard. I need to finish up everything I need to and get to baking!

    Balls. hehehe!

  9. Kristen December 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    These all look so incredibly yummy! I’m so envious of your baking skills! And I think a Bodega Bliss Bakery is a fantastic idea! 🙂

  10. Port of Indecision December 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Yum!! I did bakefests the past couple of weekends. It’s my favorite part of the holidays. And I made my own balls – gingerbread cake balls.

  11. starfishkittydreams December 21, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    Yum! The treats and the photos of the treats look AMAZING! I have been wanting to make French Macarons ever since our Citizen Cake meeting. I didn’t realize they had such a short shelf life.

  12. Esperanza December 21, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    Oh. My. God. When did you become an amazing pastry chef?! Seriously! This stuff all looks fabulous.

    Do you have Hipstamatic for your iPhone? They just came out with a new “lens/film pack” that is especially for photographing food. You should check it out (not that your pictures aren’t great, just thought it might be fun).

    When are you exchanging gifts by the way. I’m DYING to show you (and J’s) what I got you.

  13. Her Royal Fabulousness December 25, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    OMG these made me drool. The marshmallows especially. At first, when I saw your post name, I thought you were going to post this:

  14. embracingtherain December 27, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Those treats look amazing, especially the marshmallows. How did you make the marshmallows? I’ve only ever had the jet-puffed kind you buy in a bag from the store, but I definitely want to try the homemade kind someday.

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