Bourbon Balls

I have the greatest group of yoga students a person could ever hope for.

I never expected to become a yoga instructor.  I had been a yoga student off and on for several years, and had gotten out of the habit of attending classes regularly.  My plans to do yoga on my own at home never happened and eventually I came to realize how much I missed (and needed) yoga.

Mom discovered a class at a local church and we signed up.  It was a very slow paced class and the instructor warned us a couple of times that it was probably much slower than we were used to….. which was perfectly fine since we’d been out of it for so long and really…. I just needed someone to MAKE me do it.

We hadn’t been in class more than a few months when our instructor came down with a cold and asked me if I’d sub for her.  Sure!  My mouth answered before my brain had time to kick in and mention that I’d never taught before.  I was SO terrified my first class.  We stuck to the super basic poses and I’m pretty sure I stuttered the entire time.  Luckily, I already knew the other students and had a retired teacher or two among the group. They bossed me around a bit and offered tons of encouragement.  The next classes were even better and by the time our instructor had recovered I didn’t want to give the class back….. Looking back, I think that might have been her plan all along.  She asked if I might want to continue teaching the class and if the class would be okay with keeping me….. And suddenly I was a yoga instructor.

I still don’t think of myself as a yoga “teacher.”  I lead the class and offer direction… I nag them to practice at home and make sure we don’t just do the easy poses every time…. My “students” are the real teachers…. I’ve learned so much about yoga from their questions and issues.  They force me to continue to research and learn so that I can bring new poses and ideas back to them.  I have been so fortunate to have stumbled into this opportunity and absolutely blessed to have gotten to share yoga with these amazing people.  They are kind and encouraging, goofy and challenging… and I adore them all.

Last Christmas I made these Bourbon Balls as a gift for my class…. and I learned to not give yoga students Bourbon Balls before class….  Complete mayhem!   This year they wanted to know if I’d be making them again.  Yes… but I told them to take them home, not eat them in class.  🙂

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Bourbon Balls

Makes 25-30

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperatureBourbon Balls 1
  • 1 lb Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 3 Tbs Bourbon (I used Jim Bean, Honey Whiskey)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Chocolate Coating

  • 4-6 oz Semi-Sweet or Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 25 – 30 Whole Pecan Halves (for garnish)

Combine softened butter and powdered sugar.  (The Kitchenaid makes this tons easier, but you could also use a Pastry Blender.)  The mixture will still be powdery at this point.

Once the butter and sugar are completely combined, add the bourbon and vanilla.  Now it will take on a more frosting-like texture.

If you’re using the Kitchenaid, just leave the mixture in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for an hour or so.

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Once the candy is nice and firm, remove from the fridge and grab your 1-inch Cookie Scoop.  I gave the dough a quick mix in the Kitchenaid again (that’s why I left it in the bowl), just to slightly soften up the butter again.  Just a quick spin, you don’t want it sticking in the scoop, but you do want soft enough to roll into balls.

(You don’t have to use a cookie scoop, but when I tried to roll the dough by hand it had weird lumps that the chocolate coating doesn’t hide.  It doesn’t hurt the taste, but it isn’t as pretty.)

Drop the dough balls onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and refrigerate another hour or so.

Melt your chocolate.  (I use the Wilton Chocolate Pro Electric Melting Pot… I bought mine at Michaels’ with a 40% off coupon.) You can melt your chocolate in the microwave or double-broiler, but I like using the Wilton Melting Pot.  The chocolate starts to cool and clump as you try to coat the dough and I always get weird lumps…. the Melting Pot helps keep the chocolate melted and more even.) 

I used two fondu forks to dip the dough in the chocolate.  I stabbed one into the top of the ball and dipped it into the chocolate…. then used the second fork to help lift the ball out of the chocolate and back onto parchment lined pan.  I usually had a small spot on the very top without chocolate, but I just smooshed the pecan half down over the hole…. problem solved.

 

*Warning: Do not feed to yoga students before class…. they will not pay attention at all!

 

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