The Kentucky Derby aka “The Run for the Roses” or “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” is a 1.25 mile race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses. The Kentucky Derby draws an average of 150,000 visitors each year, including residents, tourists, celebrities, presidents, and even members of royal families. The first Kentucky Derby race took place in 1875. Close to 10,000 people watched as 15 thoroughbred horses ran what was then a 1.5 mile course. In 1876, the length of the race was changed to 1.25 miles. By the early 1900s, owners of winning Kentucky Derby horses started sending their winners to run in the Preakness Stakes in Maryland and the Belmont Stakes in New York. In 1930, sportswriter Charles Hatton coined the term “Triple Crown” in reference to the same horses running the three races consecutively. This year will be the 144th running of the race!
KENTUCKY DERBY CHOCOLATE BOURBON PECAN PIE TRUFFLES
12 ounces dark chocolate (70-75% cacao), chopped
1 -1/2 Tbsp unsalted cold butter, cubed
2 tsp vanilla extract
9 Tbsp heavy cream
1/4 cup good Kentucky Bourbon
1 (5.3 ounce) package pure butter shortbread cookies, crushed (I use Walker's)
2 cups finely chopped roasted, salted pecans
Combine first 3 ingredients in large glass bowl. Cook cream and bourbon in small saucepan over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture is hot but not boiling. (Mixture will steam, and bubbles will form around edge of pan.) Pour cream mixture over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute.
Stir chocolate mixture until melted and smooth. (If mixture doesn't melt completely, microwave on HIGH 30 seconds.) Stir in crushed cookies. Cover and chill 3 hours or until firm.
Shape into 1-inch balls (about 2 tsp per ball). Roll in chopped pecans. Place on wax or parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Chill 1 hour. Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days.