The Occasion: Bourbon Ball Brownies make an excellent addition to the sweets table at a holiday party or after-work potluck – they’re vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and damn delicious to boot.
The Recipe: The original recipe from Tasting Table is for Bourbon Balls, a somewhat traditional special occasion treat. When Ilise made it the first time she encountered a texture/consistency issue and decided to pivot into a brownie format instead.
What Makes it Special? I haven't found too many vegan and gluten-free recipes that taste just as delicious as their regular, fully-loaded versions. This is the exception to that rule.
We find it helpful to line the baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper so the cake can be lifted out of the pan easily and without breaking.
We've made them with and without pecans to garnish the top, and prefer them with the nuts. It not only looks nice, it also provides valuable information about what's inside. (Nut flour, pecan flour is inside.) Click on the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
Recipe inspiration: Tasting Table
- 2 cups gluten free and vegan vanilla wafers or sugar cookies
- 1 cup pecans
- ½ cup bourbon
- ½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- ½ cup confectioners' sugar
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Halved pecans to decorate brownies (optional)
- Heat the oven to 350°. Spread the pecans onto a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Let the nuts cool, then finely chop and set aside.
- Line an 8×8-inch pan with tin foil with extra hanging over the sides (this makes for easy removal and slicing) and spray with a non-stick cooking spray.
- Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until finely crushed or finely crush them using a hammer and a plastic bag.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped pecans, bourbon, cookie crumbs, cocoa powder, confectioners' sugar, baking powder and the corn syrup. Stir until smooth.
- Spread batter evenly in the pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (depending upon how done you want the brownie edges to be).
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove the tin foil with the brownies and continue to let the brownies cool. Once cool, cut into desired sized pieces.