Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa powder to a small bowl, then mix together thoroughly. Set both aside.
In a food processor, add pecans and vanilla wafers and crush until completely crumbled.
Transfer crumbled pecan wafer mixture to a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/4 cup powdered sugar, then use a spatula to mix together until cocoa and wafer mixture are thoroughly combined. It's okay if there are still a few visible pieces of powdered sugar at this stage.
Add light corn syrup and Kentucky bourbon to bowl, then mix to combine. Be patient; mixture will slowly incorporate the moisture and reduce half in size. Dough will be very thick. If needed, you can use your hands to knead the dough to finish mixing.
Using a 1 teaspoon cookie scoop (or similiar size), scoop out dough and roll it between your hands to form a ball. Drop the ball in the small bowl of cocoa sugar mixture and roll to coats. Place finished candy ball on prepared baking sheet. Repeat this step until all dough has been used.
Place baking sheet in the freezer for 1 hour so that candy can set. While candy sets, place any remaining cocoa powder mixture into a sealable container.
Once bourbon balls have set, transfer them to the container with the cocoa sugar mixture. Seal the lid, then shake to give the candy a fresh coating of cocoa sugar.
For best results, keep candies refrigerated until ready to serve. Before serving, give the container another shake to refresh cocoa sugar coating.
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