Probably the best thing about Winter here is that as far South as we live, it doesn't very often get just uncomfortably cold...it's nice weather to be outside most of the time. The part I enjoy the least is that there aren't very many festivals going on.
Every so often, I go through the different state tourism websites, and I keep a little calendar on my computer of things that sound like they'd be fun to go to. For instance, next month starts the 'festival season' around here. There's the George Lindsey Film Festival at UNA, Spring Pilgrimage in Selma and Natchez and Vicksburg, the Outsider Do-Nanny in Pittsview, the Art Car Parade in Baton Rouge - and all kinds of other things I can't wait to go to!
One thing that's going on this week is the annual Literary and Cinema Celebration in Natchez, and this year it's themed, "Biscuits, Gumbo, Sweet Tea, and Bourbon Balls." I can't be there, but it does sound like it would be interesting...they're giving talks about the 'Mississippi Hot Tamale Trail', there's a program with the ladies that wrote 'Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral' which I have and is wonderful and hilarious, they're showing 'Fried Green Tomatoes' and a documentary on barbecue, and watching a Tennessee Williams play. And a million other things. I think it sounds wonderful.
So, I got thinking about it the program in Natchez and what it's called this year - and Av is accustomed to me making him biscuits, gumbo, and sweet tea, but I've never made bourbon balls for him - so that's exactly what I made tonight for a little treat.
This recipe makes oh, probably thirty or forty bourbon balls, so they're perfect for a party. With this particular recipe, they can be frozen for a while too, so you can make a batch and then a week or two later take them back out and enjoy them then.
The more traditional recipe for bourbon balls calls for vanilla wafers and cocoa, but this recipe is a little different, mostly because the wafers aren't used, and the bourbon balls are actually dipped in chocolate. Av likes just about anything chocolate, so I figured this recipe would suit him best:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1-1/2 cup pecans, chopped as fine as you like
4 tbsp bourbon (I used Maker's Mark for these)
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, thinned with a couple tbsp. butter and a splash of sweet milk (this is one of those things that you just have to play with the consistency, getting it not too thick and not too thin. Melt this chocolate/butter/milk mixture using the double boiler method - in a bowl over a simmering pot of water.)
Cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar. Once the butter and sugar is mixed together well, add the chopped pecans. I like the pecans in these to be pretty fine, but it's entirely up to your preference.
Next, I melt the chocolate mixture using the double boiler method. I use a toothpick and pick up the frozen rounds, dip them in the melted chocolate, and put them on a seperate baking sheet with parchment paper. Once these are all done, I pop them in the freezer until they're all set up (just a few minutes) and they're ready to enjoy.