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Cookie swaps are a wonderful way to get your sugary holiday fix while learning a bit about the other swappers. I feel like you can tell a lot about people from what kinds of cookies end up on the table, whether there are classic thumbprints or delicate macarons. Because bourbon balls don’t require baking, they are a perfect treat to make while your other holiday cookies have their stint in the oven. While I use graham crackers here, vanilla wafers or gingersnaps are also options. Go with your favorite—or whatever you already have on hand.

2 cups crushed graham crackers
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, divided use
1 cup finely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Cook’s Tip: To make these nonalcoholic, use apple juice in place of the bourbon.

1. In a large bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, 1 cup powdered sugar, pecans, cocoa and cinnamon.

2. Whisk together bourbon and maple syrup, then add to dry ingredients. Stir together until everything is evenly moistened. If the mixture looks too dry, add more bourbon and syrup, a small amount at a time. The mixture should clump easily when squeezed.

3. Form mixture into small balls by hand. On a flat surface, roll balls in remaining 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and then place them on a waxed paper-lined plate or tray. Chill to let the flavors meld before serving.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Follow along with Megan Myers and her adventures in the kitchen at, where she features a recipe for Raspberry Jam Cookies.

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