let the good times roll

I went to a Les Dames d’Escoffier meeting tonight. The group is, according to its website, “a world wide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality.” More simply put, it’s a group of women who work in and are passionate about the food industry and all things food. To me, it’s a group of women who share my passions. As supportive as my family is, they’re not going to listen to me go on and on (and on and on and on) about food. This group will. We don’t always talk food, though we often do, but we always support each other in professional endeavors. Some say it’s all about networking, but I’d argue that it’s about the friendships that form.

Tonight, we enjoyed a Fat Tuesday meal of rich man’s jambalaya (chicken, shrimp, and sausage), a lightly dressed mixed green salad, and an amazing pear-cherry bread pudding with bourbon caramel sauce. Knowing the party theme, I brought bourbon balls. The meal was followed by a nutrition-professor member talking about what makes a real-world healthy diet. The group thought it was wonderfully ironic that we followed an extravagant and lavish meal with a presentation on nutrition. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Kentucky Bourbon Balls

  • 2 cups vanilla wafer cookies, finely crushed
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (can use Dutch-process or regular unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • Additional confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, and/or crushed pecans for coating

In food processor, finely chop cookies. Add pecans; pulse just until nuts are ground. Transfer mixture to large bowl; add confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder. Stir to mix well. Stir in bourbon and corn syrup. Refrigerate until chilled.

Shape chilled mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll bourbon balls in confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, or finely chopped nuts to coat. Store in airtight container up to 2 weeks. Makes about 36 bourbon balls.