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Home Cooking
Readers' best recipes

The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA
Thursday, December 09, 2004
By Paulette Rittenberg
Contributing writer

"When you own a chocolate store, the chances are you love cooking with chocolate at home. Such is the case with Ann Zerlin Streiffer, who, with her husband, Dr. Rick Streiffer, a family physician, owns Blue Frog Chocolates in Uptown New Orleans. Streiffer recently added double chocolate bourbon balls to her repertoire
of home recipes. They are perfect for holiday parties or gifts this time of year.
The recipe is from the cookbook
'Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight: The Chocoholic's Survival Guide and Practical Handbook, Or, a Spartan Hedonist's Views on Chocolate and How It Enhances Health, Stamina, and General Well-Being, Or, How to Morph Yourself from an
Out-Of-Control... icon' by Anne Isham (Nortex Press, Austin, Texas).


According to Isham, she and her sister, Joan, have been trying out various
bourbon ball recipes together for 25 years, but no recipe called for enough
chocolate and allowed the bourbon and pecan flavors to shine through. Thus,
the sisters developed this recipe that not only soothes their chocolate cravings
but stays within reasonable calorie bounds if, of course, you don't go over-
board on the quantity.
New Orleans native Streiffer, however, altered the recipe from the get-go
by adding lots more chocolate. After all, she goes for chocolate in a big way,
almost as much as her husband, she says. Her version of Isham's recipe
produces delectably chocolaty bourbon balls with a brownie-like texture.
Streiffer also loves that the white sugar coating has a good feel in the mouth,
and 'you get hit by the smell of the bourbon' every time you open the bourbon
ball tin.

According to the Uptown resident, she and her husband opened their store to
have retirement income, and they decided they would sell chocolate because
there are so many diehard fans of chocolate. (By the way, did you know that
the cocoa bean from which chocolate is made, 'Theobroma cacao', translates
as 'food of the gods'?) Having a chocolate store is also a great way to encourage their infant grandchild and future grandchildren to visit them often,
Streiffer says."


Joan and Anne’s Double Chocolate
Bourbon Balls

Makes 60

1 1/4 pounds Newman-O’s or other cream-filled
chocolate sandwich cookies (or unfilled
chocolate wafers or cookie crumbs)
1 pound graham crackers
2 cups chopped pecans
1 to 2 cups chocolate chips, optional
(Streiffer doesn’t use)
15 ounces Hawaiian chocolate, or other fine,
extra-bittersweet chocolate (Streiffer uses 1 1/4
to 1 1/2 pounds chocolate with a cocoa content
of 70 to 80 percent, making about 100
bourbon balls)
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 cup Weller bourbon (or your favorite bourbon;
don’t use Scotch)
1/4 cup Grand Marnier (or amaretto)
White sugar (about 1/2 cup)

If desired, scrape away white centers from cookies. In a food processor,
grind the cookies and graham crackers to fine crumbs; transfer mixture to
a very large mixing bowl. Stir in pecans and, if you would like little bits of
solid chocolate in the bourbon balls, also add the chocolate chips; set aside.
Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling,
water. Add corn syrup, bourbon, and Grand Marnier, stirring until the
mixture is completely smooth. Remove from heat. Add chocolate mixture
to crumb mixture, blending thoroughly. Roll into one-inch bourbon balls,
and roll each in [white] sugar. Store bourbon balls in airtight containers,
letting them mellow at least 24 hours before serving.
These bourbon balls get better with age and don’t require refrigeration.
If properly stored, they will keep about a year. If they seem dry after a
few months, or if they’re stored in a cold place, soften them by placing
one to four at a time in the microwave for 5 to 15 seconds.

Back to New Orleans Christmas Cookies

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