One of the great things, of which there are many, about my wife Allyson Christmas Balls is that she loves to cook as much as I do!

Another great thing is that cookies and sweets are one of her specialties! This recipe from her list of easy recipes that has become a favorite for our family and friends during the Christmas season and the holiday’s.

After all, nothing says “Holiday Spirit” like a batch of Tennessee Whiskey Chocolate Balls!

Allyson’s Christmas Tennessee Whiskey Chocolate Balls

Santa DancingAnd yes, you can swap out Jack Daniels or George Dickel with bourbon from Kentucky. But we’re in East Tennessee in the shadows of the Smokey Mountains so this recipe is sticking with Volunteer state favorites Christmas Balls!

The great thing about Allyson’s recipe is that it is easy and can be tweaked to your own taste buds as needed. If you don’t like whiskey or bourbon, then try rum. If you don’t like pecans, try walnuts or your favorite chopped nut. We’ve even tested a batch with spicy toasted peanuts as well as brown sugar roasted cashews.

According to Allyson, the trick to the recipe is letting them rest in the fridge for at least a half hour to set. We’ve also found that if you are making these bad boys a day or two early, then the flavors really POP by the time you eat them. One last suggestion… you can even cover them in the same chocolate coating that you use with pretzels and Ritz style crackers.

Enjoy Allyson’s recipe, and Merry Christmas Balls, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!

Allyson’s Tennessee Whiskey Christmas Balls

1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup Tennessee Whiskey

1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for decoration

Make sure the vanilla wafer crumbs are fine crushed. Combine the wafer crumbs, chopped pecans, one cup of confectioners’ sugar and the cocoa. In a bowl, blend the bourbon and the corn syrup together. Add the crumb mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-inch balls and roll in confectioners’ sugar. Refrigerate to set.

THE KICKER! If you want to push your sweet tooth over the edge, drop the coating of sugar and dip these tasty treats in white or brown chocolate candy coating – the same kind used to coat pretzels and cookies! Allow the chocolate Christmas Balls coating to harden while resting on wax paper.

Author Bio: Kent “The Deck Chef” Whitaker is the former winner of the Emeril Live / Food Network barbecue contest. He’s a culinary writer and cookbook author – his newest title is Great American Grilling. He also writes about College football, the NFL and NASCAR for several media outlets. Look for him online at .