Grab your floppy sunhat, nibble on one of these chocolaty, no-bake goodies and you’re off to the races!
By: Jodie Shield, RDN
The Kentucky Derby has been at the top of my bucket list ever since I saw the Disney movie Secretariat. Last year, lucky me got to cross it off. The fashion and festivities of Churchill Downs was a lifetime experience. The pin stripped suits and pastel parade of fancy hats and whimsical fascinators, made me feel like I was in a Hollywood movie. But my favorite part of the Kentucky Derby was of course, the mint juleps and Southern-style food. This year I’ll be watching the race on the big screen and recreating the fun by hosting a Kentucky Derby party. While my horse may not come in first place, all bets are on my chocolate-pecan bourbon balls. Inspiration for this no-bake dessert came from Bon Appétit. The original recipe called for walnuts, but I prefer pecans. I also recommend smaller portions to trim calories. Another tip: use a high-quality bourbon and cill the dessert overnight to enhance the boozy flavor.
Chocolate-Pecan Bourbon Balls
Prep Time = 20 minutes
Chill Time = 15 minutes or overnight
9 ounces pitted dates, chopped
3 tablespoons boiling water
1 ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes; divided use
1 ½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup bourbon
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup powdered sugar
- Place dates and water in large bowl; let sit for 5 minutes.
- Transfer dates to food processor; add 1 cup coconut flakes, pecans, bourbon, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar. Pulse about 3-5 minutes or until chunky mixture forms.
- Use a tablespoon to form 24 rounded balls. Roll balls in remaining coconut flakes.
- Place bourbon balls on jelly roll pan and chill.
Nutritional Information per Serving (1 enchilada): 103 calories, 1 gram protein, 11 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 0 milligrams sodium