These Derby Day Truffles with Candied Bourbon Pecans are very decadent, elegant and exquisite to look at. You will be the hit of your Kentucky Derby Party, I guarantee it!
A sure sign of spring is the running of The Kentucky Derby in early May. The 1.25-mile horse race is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY., on the first Saturday in May. It is the first race of the Triple Crown and is considered the crown jewel of the horse racing world. In Louisville, it is a two-week long festival including parties and parades.
Derby Day is a glamorous affair, where the rich and famous wear their spring finest, with most women wearing very elaborate hats. It is the place to be and be seen.
Kentucky Derby History Alternatively referred to as “The Run for the Roses” or “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” the Kentucky Derby is a 1.25 mile race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses. The Kentucky Derby draws an average of 150,000 visitors each year, including residents, out-of-towners, celebrities, presidents, and even members of royal families.Kentucky Derby History:The first Kentucky Derby race occurred in 1875. Close to 10,000 people watched as 15 thoroughbred horses ran what was then a 1.5 mile course. In 1876, the length of the race was changed to 1.25 miles. By the early 1900s, owners of winning Kentucky Derby horses started sending their winners to run in the Preakness Stakes in Maryland and the Belmont Stakes in New York. In 1930, sportswriter Charles Hatton coined the term “Triple Crown” in reference to the same horses running the three races consecutively. Courtesy of Kentucky Derby Facts and History from about.com
Many foods are synonymous with The Kentucky Derby. The most famous is probably the Mint Julep (click here for the recipe from KentuckyDerby.com). I guess this is technically not a food, but a drink, but after you have 2 or 3, you won’t care anyway.
They also serve Burgoo which is a thick meaty stew and Derby-Pie® which is basically a walnut chocolate pie. As their website says “The original and only Derby-Pie® is from Kern’s Kitchen in Louisville, Ky.
For my Derby Day Truffles, I used my Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe, adding semi-sweet chocolate chips and a little bourbon for good measure. If you are not inclined to bake your own pie, just buy a regular pecan pie from your baker.
This recipe is fairly easy, especially if you use a store-bought pie, but a little time-consuming because the truffles need to chill. Be sure to keep your hands clean as you roll the pie mixture into truffles. I cleaned my hands after every 3 balls. Also when coating the truffles in chocolate, you might want to work in batches, keeping half of the balls chilled, until ready to coat.
These Derby Day Truffles are very decadent, elegant and exquisite to look at. You will be the hit of your Kentucky Derby Party, I guarantee it! The Derby is known as “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” but it will take you less time to eat these truffles. Put on your big hat, bet on your favorite horse and enjoy these Derby Day Truffles with a Mint Julep.
- 1 (9 inch) homemade pecan or derby pie. (see recipe below) Substitute a store-bought pecan pie.
- 1 cup graham crackers, broken fine but not crushed
- 16 oz. good quality dark chocolate. semi sweet will work fine
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup Jim Beam Bourbon or bourbon of your choice
- 2 oz. butter
- 1/4 brown sugar, packed
- Cook Chocolate Pecan Pie as directed and allow to cool completely or if using store bought pie bring to room temperature.
- Place whole pie in mixing bowl with graham crackers.
- Blend on low until crust is broken up and pie is mixed.
- Chill mixture in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Remove mixture from the fridge, roll into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet, lined with wax paper. To keep pie mix from sticking keep your hands clean.
Chill balls in the fridge for at least two hours.
Could also be placed in the freezer to chill faster.
- While balls chill, place butter, sugar, and bourbon in microwave safe baking dish.
- Microwave for 1 minute until butter is melted.
- Stir and add chopped pecans.
- Microwave on high for 3 minutes stirring every 30 seconds.
Spread evenly on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Pecans will harden. When ready to use break pecans apart and reserve.
When truffles are chilled, melt chocolate in microwave on 50% power until melted stirring every 30 seconds. Do not over-cook.
- Remove balls from the fridge.
Using a toothpick or fork, dip balls in melted chocolate.
- Remove excess and place on baking sheet lined with wax paper.
- Place a few bourbon pecans on top.
- Work quickly as chocolate will harden fast.
First published by Quinn Caudill for dadwhats4dinner.com © April 2016 Updated © April 2018
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My blogger colleagues and I share some derby inspired foods with this #DerbyDayRecipes Round-Up. Is your hat ready? Check out all great recipes!
Angel Biscuits from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Bourbon Peach Tea from Family Around The Table
Grapefruit and Thyme Bourbon Smash from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Hot Brown Sandwich from Palatable Pastime
Pickled Shrimp from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Tortilla Chip Derby Hats from Amy’s Cooking Adventures