Monday, December 12, 2011

Chocolate Whiskey Cookies (The 3rd Sweet of Christmas)

I have to say this might be my favorite Christmas cookie out of all the Christmas cookies my family makes.  It's an old family recipe; I'm not exactly sure where it originated, but my Nana Savona's recipe box seems to be the origins of the delightful and slightly naughty chocolate whiskey cookies.

I will warn you ahead of time that you should not attempt to make these cookies unless you have at least one helper because they have to be frosted while they're still warm from the oven.  And you're going to have 5 to 6 trays, 20 cookies to a tray.  So expect to frost between 100 and 120 cookies.  Also be forewarned that you won't end up with 100 to 120 cookies at the end of the baking day - because you'll be "forced" to quality test at least one cookie from each batch.
Chocolate Whiskey Cookies
  • 8 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 to 5 jiggers of whiskey (any whiskey will do but I highly recommend springing for Jack Daniels)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift flour, salt, powder and soda together in a 6 quart bowl or soup pan.
  3. Add sugar, cocoa, spices.
  4. Add shortening and liquids
  5. Mix by hand (which means stick your hand in there and work it all together).  The dough will be extremely sticky, especially if you've been "generous" with the whiskey.  Add more milk a little at a time if the dough seems too dry.
  6. Add nuts if desired, mix in.
  7. Form into little balls, or, to make life easier, use a cookie scoop.
  8. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove to paper towels and frost while warm.
Chocolate Glaze Frosting
  • 1 box confectioner's sugar
  • cocoa powder
  • vanilla
  • milk
Method: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth.  It will need to be rather thick, but will still drizzle from a spoon, or the warm cookies will further thin the glaze and it will all run off the cookies.

  • Allow the cookies to cool and the glaze to set before packing in airtight boxes, placing wax paper between the layers of cookies.
  • Cookies freeze extremely well and will keep for up to a month (if they last that long).  Otherwise store in a cool place.
  • To serve, remove cookies from container and allow to come to room temperature.  This takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • A jigger is equal to 1 and 1/2 ounces.  But we aren't very precise about measuring the whiskey, to be honest.
  • Once upon a time, we thought all the alcohol baked out of the cookies, leaving behind the taste of the whiskey.  This proved to be slightly false.  Some of the alcohol does bake out, but not enough to make them completely alcohol free.  However, you'd have to eat so many cookies in order for the alcohol to have an effect, you're more likely to get sick from the cookies themselves.  And we ate them all the time as kids and turned out fine.


  1. I really do think these are my favorites, and the batch with the extra whiskey was soooooo good!!

  2. yummy yummy in my tummy. :)

    as a side note, though, recovering alcoholics can't eat these, because you an actually taste the whiskey.