Rich and chewy double chocolate sugar cookies spiked with bourbon and rolled in bourbon-infused raw sugar for a satisfying crunchy finish. The result is a brownie-like chocolate cookie with a beautifully crinkly top that’ll knock your socks off!
At this point, I’ve baked bourbon into bundt cakes and brownies, bourbon balls and caramel sauce… it’s about time it made its way into some cookies.
This is one of those recipes that exceeded my expectations on the first try. I wanted a soft, chewy chocolate sugar cookie, and boy did these deliver. And the beautifully crackly top? Well, that was an unexpected bonus.
I incorporated the bourbon in the dough itself as well as in the bourbon-infused sugar in which the cookies are rolled.
To make bourbon-infused sugar, combine raw turbinado sugar with a few teaspoons of bourbon in a mason jar, and then shake the dickens out of it until the sugar is evenly moistened with fragrant Kentucky gold.
Even with such a small amount of bourbon, the sugar is still rather moist and clumpy (a bit like wet sand). I wasn’t sure it was going to work at first, but the overall effect is gorgeous, with clumps of glittery sugar crystals clinging to the crackly chocolate top. More geode than cookie, if geodes were edible and tasted like vanilla and chocolate.
Most of the bourbon flavor bakes off (these are not bourbon balls, so don’t expect a strong alcohol taste), but just enough remains to make these cookies something special. The bourbon here acts almost like super vanilla, if you will.
The bourbon can be left out if you choose, simply replace it with 1 tablespoon (yes, tablespoon!) vanilla extract.
Rather than just use cocoa powder, I borrowed a trick from my Salt & Pepper Sable Cookies and also incorporated some finely grated dark chocolate.
I find the easiest way to ‘grate’ chocolate is to pulverize it in a food processor (cover your ears, it’s loud!) resulting in tiny shards of chocolate no bigger than a grain of rice, along with some practically powdered chocolate that melts into the cookie as it bakes, adding a sultry richness that can’t be achieved with cocoa alone.
These cookies are as dark and rich as your favorite chocolate brownie.
The mix of butter and shortening keeps the cookies soft and chewy for days (while you can use all butter, your cookies will spread more and will end up crispier than if you used a mix).
When storing these cookies, I recommend spreading any leftover bourbon sugar in the bottom of an airtight storage container, then layering the cookies on top. The essence of bourbon will continue to infuse the cookies until it comes time to devour them (not that they’ll last that long, but still).
Bourbon Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Rich and chewy chocolate sugar cookies spiked with bourbon and rolled in bourbon-infused raw sugar. The result is a chewy, crinkly, crunchy cookie recipe that’ll knock your socks off!
- 1 3/4 cup (7.5oz/210g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (2.75oz/75g) Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unflavored vegetable shortening, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons bourbon (optional, replace with 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
- 3 ounces grated or very finely chopped dark or semisweet chocolate (ideally pulverized in a food processor)
- 1 cup raw/turbinado sugar
- 2 teaspoons bourbon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter until no longer chunky. Add shortening and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and uniformly mixed. Add sugar and brown sugar and beat for 1 to 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and egg yolk and mix until incorporated; scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beater as necessary. Slowly mix in bourbon.
- Add dry ingredients in two additions, mixing on low speed until just incorporated. Mix in finely chopped chocolate. If your dough is particularly soft you can refrigerate it for 10 to 15 minutes or so to make it easier to roll.
- To make bourbon sugar, combine raw sugar and 2 teaspoons bourbon in a pint-sized mason jar. Screw on lid and shake the heck out of it, until sugar is evenly moistened and looks something like wet sand. Pour into a shallow bowl or dish.
- Scoop dough into 1 3/4-inch balls (the size of a medium cookie scoop). Roll into a smooth ball, then roll into bourbon sugar until evenly coated (the moist sugar will clump, but that’s the effect we’re going for!)
- Arrange on parchment lined cookie sheets leaving approximately 2 inches of space between cookies.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies have settled into shallow domes. They will be set around the edges but still puffed in the middle (they will flatten when they cool). Let cool on pan for 10 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To store, spread any leftover bourbon sugar in the bottom of an airtight storage container; arrange cookies in layers on top and tightly cover. Cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Did you make this recipe?
Let us know what you think!
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Some of the best cookies I’ve ever made. I’m not usually a cakey type cookie person, but these are redeculously chocolatey. The sugar mixture on the outside gives them a beautiful crunch and then the inside is soft. I will undoubtedly make them again and again.
How many cookies does this yield?
Can you do cut out cookies? Will this roll out?
This recipe is not intended as a cut out cookie recipe. Something more like the cookies from this recipe: https://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2012/08/creme-de-menthe-ice-cream-sandwiches.html may be more what you’re looking for (you can always sprinkle some of the bourbon sugar on top!)
These turned out amazing, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well I could taste the bourbon at the end! One question: on some recipes (like the amaretti cookies) you suggest using a silicone mat, but on this recipe you suggested using parchment paper. I have followed both instructions as recommended, and both cookies turned out great! Just wondering if there’s a reason behind that decision? Is sometimes parchment paper better than a silicone mat?
Butter-based cookies can often have a greasy bottom when baked on silicone mats. I really only use silicone these days for egg-white based cookies like meringues and macarons, everything else does better on parchment!
Delicious chocolatey cookie–but, I want more bourbon flavor. Is there a way to increase it to or enhance it so the bourbon is more pronounced?
The majority of the alcohol bakes off in the oven, no way to really preserve that. Store your cookies in an airtight container with the leftover bourbon sugar – that’ll infuse some extra flavor in there. :) BUT if you’re looking for a super bourbon-y dessert, check out my bourbon delight, because it’s not baked it really packs a punch! https://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2017/04/bourbon-balls.html
Wow, these may be my new favorite cookie! I love everything about them—the look, the texture, the taste! Excellent.
These look amazing. Just wondering if they could be rolled and cut into shapes like a standard sugar cookie?
No, these are drop cookies that spread out as you cook them. The dough is too sticky to be rolled and I doubt it would hold its shape.
I’ve baked a lot of Stella Park’s recipes that use refined coconut oil in place of shortening. Do you think this would work in this recipe?
I don’t have much experience baking with coconut oil, so I can’t say for sure. But if you try it definitely let me know!
what a nice way to cut the sweetness, but not too much, just right, thank you for a wonderful cookie recipe
These look amazing!! I’m going to try making them this week. Do you think I can freeze the cookie balls for future baking, and roll them in the sugar just before baking? Thanks!
Definitely! Will probably need 2-3 minutes longer cook time when baked from frozen. I haven’t tried it personally so the cookies might look a little bit different than pictured, but will still taste just as good. ;)
Great thanks!! I just made the dough and baked a test cookie – omg these are SO GOOD!!! Thank you for sharing an amazing recipe!!
Made these this weekend for a relative’s birthday, and they were a hit! I used all butter since I didn’t have shortening, and used regular white sugar in place of the raw sugar – turned out great!
This is a great delicacy, keeper definitely since it really brings completely new flavours ! Thank you so much !
I never ate chocolate cookies, it’s very tasty. Thanks for the wonderful recipe! ?
I literally commented to my 80-year-old mother yesterday that I was bored with my cookie recipes, and just opened email to find you have once again come to the cookie blues rescue! My mom and I will love these. (Last night at dinner she complained I didn’t put enough rum in the whipped cream. She was right.)
Ha! Clearly mother knows best. :) The boozier, the better!
These cookies look so good! I love the texture!