12ounceschocolate melting discs (I used Ghirardelli brand)
Optional garnish-Holiday themed sprinkles
In a large mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon, combine the chopped pecans, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, maple syrup, karo syrup, melted butter, almond and rum extracts. Mix until evenly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or up to overnight.
Once chilled, using a 2 inch cookie scoop, scoop out the pecan filling and form into tight balls. **I suggest wetting your hands with warm water, place the scooped filling into the palm of your hand and gently squeeze and compact the pecan filling into a tight ball** Set the pecan balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat until all the balls are formed.
In a medium size bowl, that is not too deep, melt the chocolate melting discs according to package directions. Stir until smooth.
Using a fork gently place one pecan ball at a time into the melted chocolate. Roll it around in the melted chocolate, being very careful not to break apart the pecan ball, and lift out the chocolate coated pecan pie balls with the same fork and place them back onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat this process until all the pecan pie balls are coated in chocolate.
At this time you can sprinkle on some holiday themed candy sprinkles if desired onto the tops of each pecan pie ball. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator for 2 hours, uncovered, to allow the chocolate to firm back up.
Storage:Store any leftovers or pre-made Pecan Pie Balls in an uncovered container, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.Tips:
If you can not find the chocolate melting discs you can use Chocolate Almond Bark in the exact same way. It is a very popular item used when making chocolate coated strawberries, pretzels or any other dipped and coated candies. It is very easy to use when following package directions. Different brands may call it melting chocolate blocks. This is very different from baking chocolate squares as this is made to melt smooth then re-harden and stick to whatever it is you are coating/dipping into chocolate. Baking chocolate squares will not do this.
The chocolate melting discs and the almond bark already have added sugar and fats to it therefore making these two options ideal for use in this recipe. They can also be found in vanilla/white chocolate flavor as well.
Chocolate melting discs will also come in different colors so you can get creative and customize your treats.
If you can not find any of these options, you can use a 12 ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips mixed with 2 tablespoons of unflavored crisco shortening (or coconut oil) melted in a microwave safe bowl, on medium heat, for 1-2 minutes. You will want to make sure to stir your chocolate at 1 minute then continue to heat in 30 second intervals. Be careful not to overheat your chips because they could seize up and not work for dipping. If your microwave has a melt setting for chocolate I would utilize that.
If you do not wish to use karo syrup in your recipe, you can just increase the amount of maple syrup used. I also highly recommend using good quality maple syrup and not pancake syrup. The flavor really shines through with these no-bake treats.
If you do not want to use rum extract then you can use vanilla extract instead. The flavor will still be delicious.