Bourbon Shortbread Cookies

I’m not really a big cookie person.  Don’t get me wrong, they are delicious.  I love the smell of cookies in the oven.  But I can really go nuts for a brownie.  Don’t worry, there will be plenty of brownie posts.  And by plenty I mean more than you will ever need in your life.  Now back to cookies.

“Do you like cookies?”

“If you don’t like cookies you are retarded.”

Every man I have ever met has some kind of love affair with cookies (although most of them LOVE oatmeal raisin).  As the man who said the above, only an idiot would pass up a cookie.  And a cookie with mainly butter?  AND bourbon?  I don’t want to meet the person who passes on that kind of cookie.  We would definitely not be friends.  Not ever.

I am a big fan of whiskey, and in my opinion the only whiskey to drink is of the Irish variety.  I’m a Jameson girl through and through but when I bake Jim Beam is my alcohol of choice.  I find the mild sweetness goes really well with the sugar and gives a subtle contrast while also KA-POWing you with whisky flavor.  When I found this recipe that meshed two things I love (correct: butter and bourbon), of course it was a match made in heaven.

I had exceptionally high hopes for these cookies and they did not disappoint.  They have a buttery, crispness that makes shortbread so delicious and then something lingers on the tip of your tongue.  BAM!  The slight taste of bourbon hits you and life is good.  If you are like me and really REALLY love the WHAM! that is alcohol in your cookies, then 3 Tablespoons may not be enough; I am definitely adding more when I make these again.  And I will make these again.  Just the buttery smell wafting from the oven is enough to make me a believer.  Not a true convert; I am a brownie worshiper for life, but I will definitely give cookies a second glance, especially when butter & bourbon is involved.  Go make these.  And eat them.

Directions & Ingredients

Makes: 24 cookies

• 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 3 sticks unsalted butter, near room temperature
• 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
• 1 vanilla bean
• 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 1/2 tbsp Bourbon (to taste — I add more 🙂

Sift together the flour and salt and set aside*. Cut the three sticks of butter into half-cubes. Put butter and both sugars into a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape into bowl. Add vanilla extract and bourbon (. Mix on medium until well combined.

Finally, with the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour/salt until all the dry ingredients are incorporated and the dough comes together cleanly off the sides of the mixing bowl. Shape the dough into a ball, then flatten into a rectangular slab.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake until the tops start to brown just slightly, about 25 minutes.

*I rarely sift the dry ingredients together and then set them aside.  General rule of thumb is: mix wet first (butter, eggs, sugar), then add all dry (flour, baking soda, salt).

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