Cookie Swap: Mocha Brandy Balls


I wish I’d thought of this earlier and assembled a cookie swap among the writing bloggers, but I’ll do it just for myself this year and perhaps see about expanding it next year.  Below is my mom’s recipe for mocha brandy balls, with some modifications I’ve made through trial and error.  I’m sure she got the recipe from somewhere, but I don’t know where to credit it.

Mocha Brandy Balls:

  • 2 tsp instant coffee
  • 6oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 ⅓ cup crushed chocolate wafers
  • 1 c pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp brandy
  • 2 ½ + ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup water

Dissolve coffee in ⅓ cup of boiling water.  Allow to cool.  Melt chocolate over low heat in saucepan or double boiler, stirring frequently.  Remove chocolate from heat.  Add wafer crumbs, nuts, syrup, brandy, coffee, and 2 ½ cups of powdered sugar.  Chill until workable.  Roll into balls and dust with remaining sugar.  Put each ball into its own paper cup.  Store in an airtight container.  Makes several dozen, depending on size of balls.

Notes:  Chocolate wafer cookies are a real thing, I’ve found them in most larger grocery stores on the cookie and cracker aisle.  They’re in a long yellow package, and there are exactly 5 to the ⅓ cup, making measurement easy.  If you absolutely can’t find them, I’ve successfully substituted chocolate teddy grahams, or chocolate cat cookies from Trader Joe’s.  If the dough is too firm to work, microwave it for 30 seconds at a time, just to make it pliable.  I find these get better as they sit, and typically make them 4-5 days in advance of whatever party I’m bringing them to.

My own recipe (same instructions, modified ingredients bolded):

  • 2 tsp instant coffee
  • 6oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 ⅓ cup crushed chocolate wafers
  • 1 c pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp spiced rum or chocolate liquor
  • 2 ½ + ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup water

I find often find the recipe is a little too sweet, even with just semisweet chocolate.  The unsweetened (not bittersweet) cuts the massive amounts of sugar nicely.  The spiced rum can add a brighter flavor to the recipe, or the chocolate liquor obviously makes the recipe that much more chocolaty.

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