Monday, May 1, 2017

Kentucky Bourbon Balls

Ruth Hanly (1891-1973) and her friend Rebecca Gooch, both in their 20s, left teaching in 1919 to start a candy business – Rebecca Ruth Candies - in Frankfort Ky.  The company, still in business, still sells the famed Bourbon Balls it created in 1938.

Ruth married Douglas Booe in 1924 and left the business, but eight months after their son John Booe (1927-2012) was born Douglas died.  She returned to the Frankfort business, but shortly Rebecca married and sold her share to Ruth… just as the Depression hit.  Ruth’s Mint Kentucky Colonel was created and sold well, but in 1938 she created her still secret recipe for Bourbon Balls, which became a best seller.  Her son took over the business which is now run by his son.

The recipe is still kept secret, but I was given this recipe years ago when we lived in Kentucky.
7 T butter
1 lb powdered sugar
1 C chopped pecans soaked for 3 days or more in 7 T bourbon; or 5 T bourbon if not soaked.

Combine ingredients and roll into balls.  Dip in dark chocolate (or what you prefer) and dry on wax paper.

More Derby dishes HERE.

©2017 Patricia Bixler Reber
Researching Food History HOME

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