Zinfandel Port Balls


We all need a no-bake treat to make and bestow upon family and friends around the holidays.  If you are looking for something easy to put together, this will definitely lighten your load. 

These Zinfandel Port Balls are one heck of a treat.  And yes, no baking or cooking is required.  They are so easy to make and the taste is sophisticated and elegant.  I love them and want them by my side at all times.

The best part is, you can use any Port you have on hand but I tend to love Zinfandel Ports.  These lovely little balls o’goodness are so rich and yummy, you only need to give someone a few to make a statement.

The Port and cocoa meld together and erupt into a lovely warming flavor.  There is no raw alcohol taste.  They are very smooth.

Let’s make them shall we….


Here is what you will need:  Zinfandel port (or any port), vanilla wafer cookies, pecans, unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, dark corn syrup and powdered sugar.


In a food processor, whirl 12 ounces vanilla wafers, 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder and 1 cup whole pecans until fine crumbs form.

Add 1/2 cup Port and 1/4 cup dark corn syrup to the crumb mixture and whirl again until blended.  Scoop out the very sticky mixture into a bowl and add 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans.  Mix in pecans with a spoon until fully incorporated.

Roll into 1-inch balls and place on parchment paper.  You may have to wash your hands after every ten balls rolled as your hands get sticky from the mixture.

Roll each ball in powdered sugar.  Then eat about ten as I did.  They are totally addicting. 


They will make you sing.

Sometimes all you need is one.

All wrapped up and nowhere to go.

These would make a stunning gift.   Place the Port Balls in a sturdy box and give with a bottle of Port and the recipe in a gift basket.  And just in case you were wondering, Prager Port Works is one of my absolute favorite places to visit and buy Port in the Napa Valley.  If you ever have the chance, make sure you stop in there for a visit, you will be surprised by what you find.

Zinfandel Port Balls
Adapted from Sunset

1 package (12 oz.) vanilla sandwich cookies (I just made these again with Nilla wafers and liked them much better than using Oreos)
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup pecans, whole
3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup Zinfandel Port or other Port
1/2 cup powdered sugar

In a food processor, whirl vanilla wafers, cocoa powder and 1 cup whole pecans until fine crumbs form.

Add Port and corn syrup to the crumb mixture and whirl again until blended.  Scoop out the very sticky mixture into a bowl and add 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans.  Mix in pecans with a spoon until fully incorporated.

Roll into 1-inch balls and place on parchment paper.  You may have to wash your hands after every ten balls rolled as your hands get sticky from the mixture.

Roll each ball in powdered sugar and place on a lovely tray.

Post a Comment

62 Comments and 1 Reply

  1. I am printing up this recipe and making it TODAY ! Hubby has been away in Washington D.C., the other Washington, and arrives home later today. This will be the PERFECT treat for him. He loves port and chocolate together!This also looks like it would be a wonderful gift for those who have everything and like to indulge. Thank-you, thank-you!

    Reply
  2. HoneyB 2

    That is a great gift!

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  3. Laura 3

    Fantastic.

    Reply
  4. I LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE the singing ducks!

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  5. Becky 5

    Your choir is adorable!
    I have never heard of port. But those look delicious and sinful.

    Reply
  6. My husband’s family have a rum ball recipe that sounds the same. Except they start by making them all around Thanksgiving and “drown” them in rum until Christmas. Those are some happy balls! :-)

    Reply
  7. This is very similar to my Brandy Ball recipe. I’m going to make your recipe. Sounds deeeeee – lish!

    Here’s my Brandy Ball Recipe:
    link to starwoodgal.wordpress.com

    Reply
  8. Kari 8

    I’ve never tried port, but, these look delicious and easy so I will have to give them a try. Thanks!

    Reply
  9. We love port! Our favorite is Whidbey’s Port but the winery closed, so sad. We bought up every last bottle we could find. Now we need to drink it all before it turns to vinegar!

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  10. The Husband loves port! These look amazing Cathy!

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  11. Uhhh…YUM.

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  12. Deeba 12

    And indeed yummy port in every ball! YUM!!

    Reply
  13. This is one of my favorite recipes!!! I have saved it from Sunset (uh, years ago) as well!!!

    Reply
  14. Those look wonderful. Your recipe called for vanilla wafers, but you used vanilla sandwich cookies. Surely those would be much richer than simple vanilla wafers? I’m wondering if that affects the texture, taste, etc. I’m sure it would have to. Yummy either way, no doubt!

    Reply
  15. Those look amazing! Will have to add to the list.

    Reply
  16. This would be a great way to use up some of my (10 containers!) of cocoa on. I love the gift box idea w/ the cookies and the port! I will definitely try these!

    Reply
  17. Trisha 17

    Oh my! These look almost sinfully delicious!

    Reply
  18. Katie 18

    I didn’t know you could buy different varietals of port. I need to go to the wine store…

    Reply
  19. Jeff 19

    Ok now my co-workers think I am weirder than normal. I got to the geese a singing pictures and busted out laughing.

    I like no bake and especially desserts!

    Reply
  20. ELRA 20

    Oh, this is the most easy and tempting looking cookies. Look really delicious, Cathy!
    Cheers,
    Elra

    Reply
  21. These look so easy and like the perfect hostess gift! I have so much port hanging around since I don’t much care for it, and yet people keep bringing me bottles. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  22. Good Wednesday morning to you, Cathy !

    OH YUM, OH YUM, OH YUM – I even wish I could have them for breakfast, sigh…

    They are calorie free, right ?

    Reply
  23. Pam 23

    Oh Cathy, these look so delicious…I could eat a lot of these beauties. Can’t beat a no-bake treat.

    Reply
  24. Alisa 24

    I love you. Really, I do.

    Reply
  25. Bunny 25

    This is a very nice adult cookie, perfect for giving as gifts, thanks Cathy!

    Reply
  26. Egghead 26

    So yummy. I love the choir.

    Reply
  27. Biz 27

    You are making my decision on what to bring for my cookie exchange very difficult! These I think are the winners over the ginger cookies!

    Reply
  28. tipper 28

    Looks fancy, easy and delicious!!

    Reply
  29. Those look heavenly!

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  30. Marjie 30

    Dang commenter wouldn’t let me comment earlier. These look like they’d make you most cheerful, indeed! Did you give some to the hooligans, and keep them firmly under control? So glad you ate 10. Now I don’t have to feel guilty when I eat a bunch of something similar, whatever that might be…

    Reply
  31. dawn 31

    Aren’t these interesting.
    I love how you find these creative and tasty little treats for us. You clever little thing you.
    Love it!

    Reply
  32. Paula 32

    Oh man, I knew I liked you! These are utterly terrific. I make these wicked rum and brandy balls, but these will be on my make it list this year! GREAT recipe!

    Reply
  33. Lori 33

    Wow, that final pic looks great – what a great present!

    Reply
  34. What a great recipe. Now it gets added to the ever growing group.

    Reply
  35. DD 35

    I HAVE to try this! Hooooo man.

    Reply
  36. dlyn 36

    These look amazing Cathy!

    Reply
  37. What a great recipe!! Can’t wait to try it…thanks!

    Reply
  38. Leslie 38

    I cant imagine eating just one fo these! Mighty fine!!!!

    Reply
  39. “ARR YA MATIES”…ooops.. sorry

    Yum.. I’ll have to try these. I have a good friend who just loves Port ( as I do)

    They also remind me of the yummy rum balls that I make once in a blue moon 😀

    Maybe I’ll have to have a rum/port ball taste off :) ( next year alas)

    Reply
  40. Bob 40

    I’m down with anything involving Port and Oreos! Those look wicked good.

    Reply
  41. Ummmm . . . is it okay to make these and keep them all to yourself? Probably not, but tempting . . .

    I scored some crystallized ginger (finally — I had to hunt), so Rachel and I are on for those ginger dream cookies for tomorrow. Hoping to share with the neighbors (better make a double batch). ; D

    Reply
  42. Liz C. 42

    OMG! I cannot wait to make these! I’ve always loved bourbon balls, so I’m guessing the port wine balls are going to make me swoon with delight.

    Reply
  43. Jude 43

    Thanks for this great gift idea. I have this recipe in mind for someone :) My baking list is getting longer with each click.

    Reply
  44. At this time of the year a simple and yet elegant treat like this would simplify the baking process so much.

    Reply
  45. wkf 45

    More Geese! I love those little geese.
    I am so NOT a country duckie/ goosie person, but I love those!! Oh and the port balls look really good too.

    Reply
  46. grace 46

    fancy-shmancy! looks like a good use for those golden oreos, which aren’t good for much else. :)

    Reply
  47. Louise 47

    Yum! Now I know what I’m bringing to the boat parade party … thanks Noble Pig. And Prager? Nice.

    Reply
  48. holy crack cocaine, batman, you have got to stop this madness. i can’t get enough of you.
    it’s offical. i’m addicted to cathy.

    Reply
  49. yes it is stunning and I’m eagerly awaiting the mail man! I usually amke mine with rum and vanilla wafers but i’m going to try yours.

    Reply
  50. What a great recipe and Prager port is one of the best!! I make a port ganache but I am liking your killer creation better!!

    Reply
  51. Ruthanne (in Seattle) 51

    I love the sound of these Cathy. Thanks so much. Your blog is one of my favorites for sure. Can’t wait for the vineyard and resulting wines!!

    Reply
  52. Ship me some? They look delicious, but me, the non-baker will NEVER make them!

    Reply
  53. megan 53

    I think I have some zinfandel port just begging to be turned into these balls. They will make for a very happy evening. :)

    Reply
  54. I love rum balls, and these seems to be an interesting variation. A great holiday treat, that’s for sure!

    Reply
  55. That would make a stunning gift indeed! I have yet to crack into a bottle of Port this season. Gasp! That’s a thought as shocking as replacing a gas range with an electric one. The horror!!

    Reply
  56. Shelly 56

    Mine are delicious but way too gooey. I’m afraid I did not use enough sandwich cookies. The recipe called for 12 oz. but the package had more than that. How much of the package did you use? They are in the freezer now. Maybe that will help them hold together.

    Reply
  57. Dolores 57

    We love Prager ports too. Thanks for sharing a recipe. Can’t WAIT to try these.

    Reply
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  60. sharon 60

    My father in law loves port. I may need to make him these for Christmas!

    Reply
  61. Melissa 61

    Our SacFoodies blogger (and big Noble Pig fan) tried out your delicious recipe and blogged about it today!

    link to sacfoodies.com

    Reply
  62. Lily 62

    These look great … just wondering if there is anything else that can be substituted for the corn syrup? Thanks!

    Reply

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