The only thing better than classic chocolate chip cookies are these whiskey brown butter chocolate chip cookies. They’re nutty, decadent, chocolatey, and have a nice bite from the liquor. In other words, these cookies are the perfect dessert!
Can You Really Improve a Classic Like the Chocolate Chip Cookie?
Yep! Just add whiskey.
This might be my favorite cookie of all time. And that’s saying something.
Chocolate chips have always been my go-to addition for cookies because they’re a no-fail classic everyone loves. (We just can’t be friends if you don’t like them, sorry not sorry. Or maybe we can and I can have your share. That works too).
Whiskey is also my go to drink, so I’m not sure why I didn’t think to put them together before. It actually took a conversation with a fellow whiskey lover to put the idea in my head. And then … boom! Whiskey Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies were happening. I went and whipped up test batch one within 15 minutes of that idea and was sold immediately.
What’s the Difference between Whiskey and Bourbon?
If you’re not someone who drinks a lot of brown liquor, the difference between bourbon and whiskey might not seem all that apparent or important. I mean, they’re both brown alcoholic liquids. Aren’t they the same thing?
NOPE! But you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. See, according to FoodandWine.com, bourbon is a type of whiskey, like how champagne is a type of wine. But not all whiskey is bourbon. Additionally, there are several key markers of bourbon-grade whiskey, including:
- Bourbon is made with at least 51 percent corn: Per the American Bourbon Association, in order to be classified as bourbon, a whiskey needs to be distilled from a mixture of grains, or mash, that’s at least 51 percent corn.
- Bourbon is always aged in new charred oak barrels: To be designated “straight bourbon whiskey,” bourbon has to have been aged in new charred oak barrels for a minimum of two years, and it cannot include any additives or colorings. Other whiskeys can be aged in barrels previously used to age other spirits, and they don’t necessarily need to be whiskey barrels.
- Bourbon has to meet certain ABV criteria: When bourbon is barreled, it must hit a certain proof, or alcohol content, in the spirit. The mash must be distilled at 160 proof (or 80 percent alcohol by volume) or less, and aged in barrels until it is no more than 125 proof (62.5 percent alcohol by volume) or less. Before bottling, bourbon is filtered and diluted down to no less than 80 proof (40 percent alcohol by volume).
- It doesn’t have to come from Kentucky: There’s a common stereotype that says bourbon isn’t bourbon if it’s not from Kentucky. While a lot of bourbon does come from the Bluegrass State — namely “Kentucky bourbon,” which has to be distilled and aged in Kentucky — bourbon can be made anywhere in the United States.
Why Does This Recipe Call for Rye Whiskey and Not Bourbon?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure that bourbon chocolate chip cookies are divine. But I specifically chose rye whiskey for these whiskey chocolate chip cookies because of the distinct wheaty taste of that spirit.
You can definitely taste it in the final product and it pairs beautifully with the caramelized, nutty flavor of the browned butter and the sweetness of the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
This is my favorite cookie and drink all in one beautiful bite!
How To Make These Whiskey Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
For these whiskey chocolate chip cookies, I took my basic brown butter chocolate chip cookie recipe and tweaked it.
I knew I wanted bakery-style cookies for this time around. I’m talking about thick, fat, stick to your rib good old fashioned heavy cookies. You know the ones. To get those beautiful baked goods you’ll need to chill the dough. It’s an extra step and practice in patience (which you know isn’t my strong suite), but it’s completely worth it. I like to make the dough the night before and chill overnight, but if you’ve just got a hankering for cookies and can’t wait (I totally understand btw), you can bake them after a few hours of chilling.
Follow these steps to make the perfect whiskey brown butter cookies every time:
- Brown the butter: Heat butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pan, stirring frequently. Cook until butter begins to brown and is aromatic. Strain butter to remove any remnants and bits.
- Mix wet ingredients: Add the browned butter and sugars to your stand mixer’s bowl. Beat until smooth and combined. Next, add one egg at a time, vanilla, and whiskey. Beat until combined.
- Combine your wet ingredients with the dry ingredients: In a separate bow, combine flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly add to your wet batter, and beat until combined. Then detach your bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet: Using a large cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator to chill minimum of 4 hours to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees: Bake for approximately 11-14 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire baking rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
The recipe makes 14 cookies in total which doesn’t sound like a lot, but each one pretty much fills the palm of my hand. Which is in no way a bad thing when it comes to cookies.
How Do I Brown Butter (and Not Burn It)?
Speaking of extra — but necessary — steps, you’ll need to brown your butter for this recipe. (Sorry not sorry!)
Browned butter gives these whiskey chocolate chip cookies a deep nutty flavor as well. The trick is to cook the butter over medium heat, slow and steady, until the milk proteins start to caramelize and turn the melted butter a medium brown color with froth on top. Once this happens and you can smell the nuttiness, immediately remove it form the heat and pour into a heat-safe bowl to stop the cooking process. Browned butter can burn very quickly, making whatever you cook with it bitter. If you do burn it or even suspect yourself of burning the butter, don’t risk it and just start over.
Also, be sure to strain the butter so you don’t get any of the browned residue into the batter. Sometimes you might even have to strain it a few times. Patience grasshopper, patience. (This what my Mom says to me. It doesn’t work, but I thought I’d give it a go with y’all anyway.)
How To Store These Whiskey Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Store leftover cookies — completely cooled — in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to 5 days at room temperature.
- Freeze cooked cookies in a freezer-safe Ziplock bag and store for up to six months. Or freeze raw dough as a log in wax paper and a freezer-safe bag for up to three months.
Tip: You could also freeze the raw dough as balls so that you can easily remove as many as you’d like to cook at one time for future consumption. This is my preferred method!
More Dessert Recipes to Try
If you like these whiskey chocolate chip cookies, then you’ll love these other sweet treats:
- White Chocolate Dipped Chewy Gingersnap Cookies
- Caramel Cream Cupcakes
- Apple Spice Cake with Browned Butter Buttercream Frosting
- Whiskey Panna Cotta
- Flourless Chocolate Cake with Nutella Frosting
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons rye whiskey
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Into a heavy bottom pan, heat butter over medium heat, stirring as necessary. Cook until butter begins to brown. Strain butter to remove any remnants.
- Into the bowl of your stand mixer add: butter and sugars. Beat until smooth and combined.
- Add: egg, vanilla, and whiskey. Beat until combined.
- Add; flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt. Beat until combined.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Using a large cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator to chill minimum of 4 hours to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for approximately 11-14 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire baking rack to cool completely.
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KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire Red
Get It Right GIRSPU303RED Spatula, 11", Red
OXO Good Grips Large Cookie Scoop
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Jelly Roll Baking Sheet
Silpat Premium Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat, Half Sheet Size, 11-5/8" x 16-1/2"
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 273Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 76mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g