Ahhh, my grandmother’s bourbon balls. They are one of my favorite recipes--and favorite stories--in The Commonsense Kitchen (see page 547). These quintessentially Southern Christmastime sweets are structurally somewhere between candy and cookies: a matrix of finely crushed vanilla wafers, finely chopped pecans, powdered sugar, and a little cocoa powder, bound together with a bit of corn syrup and a good shot of bourbon. Roll them into little balls, then roll in more powdered sugar. That’s all there is to it. If you use storebought vanilla wafers, there is no baking involved. Early on in my bourbon-ball-making years, I once decided to improvise radically: instead of ‘nilla wafers, I used gingersnaps; instead of bourbon, I used brandy; for the syrup, I used strained orange marmalade and omitted the cocoa powder. They were delicious, of course, but really, they only served to point up the perfection of the original.