Meatballs, sausage balls, spinach balls, crab balls, pecan pie balls, rum balls, bourbon balls, peanut butter balls, cheese balls, snowballs… ‘tis the season! I can’t think of any other time of year when little balls of food are so popular. Sweet or savory, it’s easy to pop a small bite of deliciousness into your mouth. Balls are the perfect party foods. Served in a sauce, on a platter or on a skewer, everyone loves a canape! I’m featuring three of my favorite party dessert balls. Tasty, full of flavor and not too sweet, they’re the perfect sweet treats for your holiday party finale. Merry Christmas!


Coconut Rum Balls

This is a variation of my Mama’s recipe from the 1970’s. She used rum flavoring instead of rum until my brother and I were in our teens. She also rolled the balls in powdered sugar instead of coconut.

1 (11-ounce) box vanilla wafers, crushed

½ cup sweetened coconut flakes

½ cup chopped pecans

¼ cup orange juice

3 tablespoons dark rum

Sweetened coconut flakes, for rolling

In a medium bowl, mix crushed cookies with coconut flakes, pecans, orange juice and rum. Roll into 1-inch balls and then roll to cover in sweetened coconut flakes. Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. Makes 30.



Also known as lady fingers or wedding cookies, these buttery treats were always a staple at our house at Christmastime when I was a child.

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup finely chopped pecans

¼ cup powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Powdered sugar, for rolling

Combine flour, butter, pecans, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir until well blended. Mixture will be stiff. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool slightly. Roll cookies in powdered sugar and cool completely on wire racks. Store in an air-tight container. Makes 24 cookies.


Bourbon Balls

The dough for these no-bake treats is very sticky. Wet fingertips or hands dusted with powdered sugar makes them easier to roll into balls.

1 package graham crackers, crushed (approximately 1 cup)

1 cup finely chopped pecans

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon corn syrup

¼ cup bourbon

Powdered sugar, for rolling

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Shape dough into balls, about 1 teaspoon each. Roll balls in powdered sugar and store in an air-tight container. Makes 30.

The writer owns Catering by Debbi Covington and is the author of three cookbooks, Celebrate Beaufort, Celebrate Everything! and Dining Under the Carolina Moon. For more great recipes and to view her cooking demonstrations, visit and subscribe to Debbi’s YouTube channel. Debbi’s website address is She may be reached at 843-525-0350 or by email at