Sweeten Your Day with these Cookie and Cocktail Recipe Pairings
Take a back seat, fancy desserts. The humble cookie plate is now a feature at a growing number of restaurants.
“I wanted to celebrate things from my life, my childhood,” says Dan Kluger, chef/owner at Loring Place. “Growing up, there were always cookies in the house.”
The recipes that follow channel those childhood delights, but each cookie is paired with a complementary cocktail to add an adult spin.
Courtesy Dorie’s Cookies (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), by Dorie Greenspan
Dorie Greenspan, widely regarded as the queen of cookies, gives the classic jam thumbprint an update with white chocolate and piquant pink peppercorns. Save a little extra strawberry jam for the cocktail, a riff on a classic from late bartending legend Sasha Petraske.
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup finely chopped best-quality white chocolate
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup strawberry jam
- ¼ teaspoon pure rose extract or rosewater (optional)
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
Center rack in oven and heat to 350˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Put sugar, peppercorns and salt in food processor and pulse until peppercorns are pulverized. Add flour and white chocolate, and pulse until chocolate is pretty much ground. Scatter cold butter over dry ingredients and pulse about a dozen times, until the mixture forms large crumbs. Add beaten egg a little at a time, pulsing after each bit goes in. You’ll have moist dough that holds together easily. Scrape dough out onto parchment.
Using small cookie scoop, scoop out level portions of dough or use teaspoon to get rounded spoonfuls. Roll each piece between your palms to make ball. Place balls on baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between them. Using knuckle or end of spoon, make deep indentation in center of each cookie.
Slide one sheet into the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Pull out sheet and, with base of a wooden spoon, poke down center of each cookie. Return sheet to oven and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until bottoms are browned and cookies feel firm; they will still be pale. Carefully transfer cookies to rack, and bake second sheet.
Put the jam in a microwave-safe container, add splash of water, stir and cover. Heat jam in the microwave for about 45 seconds, or until it boils. If you’re using rose extract or rosewater, stir it in.
Dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar (it’s okay if they’re still warm) and, using a small spoon, fill each hollow with jam. Allow the jam to cool and set. Makes about 34 cookies.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine 2 ounces gin, ¾ ounce lemon juice 1 teaspoon strawberry jam. Shake well and strain into coupe glass.
Dan Kluger, chef/owner, Loring Place, New York City
Chef Dan Kluger has a secret to make these cookies extra luxurious: “Feves are larger chocolate disks that make for great layers of chocolate in the cookies; they also tend to be made with higher-quality chocolate,” says Kluger. To pair, chocolate and Bourbon are natural bedfellows.
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 cup dark chocolate fèves
- 1 cup milk chocolate fèves
- Maldon salt (for finishing)
Lightly cream butter with sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition until smooth. Add vanilla extract, baking soda and salt. Add flour, dark chocolate fèves and milk chocolate fèves. Mix until just combined. Refrigerate cookie dough for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350˚F. Using 1-ounce scoop or large spoon, scoop dough into balls and place on baking sheets. Sprinkle each with Maldon salt.
Bake in batches for 7–8 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown at edges and golden and puffy in middle. Makes about 48 cookies.
Muddle 1 sugar cube with 2–3 dashes Angostura Bitters in bottom of rocks glass. Stir in 2 ounces Bourbon and ice. Garnish with orange peel.
From The Perfect Cookie: Your ultimate guide to foolproof cookies, brownies & bars, by America’s Test Kitchen (Penguin Random House, 2017)
Tart lemon filling is sandwiched between chewy, warmly spiced molasses cookies for a study in balance and contrast. To pair, a rum-based cocktail echoes the flavor of the robust molasses in the cookie. A straight pour of aged rum would be harmonious, too.
- 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup robust or full molasses
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups (8 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt and ground cloves together in bowl. In second bowl, melt and cool ¾ cup butter, and mix with ½ cup sugar, molasses and egg, until combined. Stir flour mixture into molasses mixture. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Spread ½ cup granulated sugar in shallow dish.
Heat oven to 375˚F. Roll dough into ¾-inch balls, then roll in granulated sugar. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, and press flat. Bake until tops just begin to crack, 8–10 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Let cookies cool completely.
Make filling and assemble sandwiches
Whisk butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice in bowl until smooth. Spread 1 heaping teaspoon filling over half of cookies, then top with remaining cookies, pressing lightly to adhere. Let filling set for 1 hour before serving. Makes about 42 sandwich cookies.
In a mixing glass, combine 1½ ounces aged rum, 1½ ounces sweet vermouth, 1 dash orange bitters and ice. Stir until chilled and strain into a coupe glass.
Courtesy Jove Hubbard, pastry chef, Cindy’s, Chicago
These crumbly, shortbread-style morsels melt in your mouth. They’re studded with chopped pecans for crunch and a rich, nutty flavor. Pair them with a cocktail made with amaretto to embrace the nuttiness.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 ½ cups chopped pecans
Beat unsalted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and ½ teaspoon salt until smooth. Sift flour and baking powder together, and mix into dough. Mix in 1½ cups chopped pecans.
Heat oven to 325˚F. Roll dough into 1½-ounce balls and place on baking sheet. Bake in batches until golden. While still warm, roll polvorones in powdered sugar. Let cool, and serve at room temperature. Makes about 36 cookies.
In rocks glass, stir together 2 ounces Scotch and ½ ounce amaretto with ice.
- 1Pink Peppercorn Thumbprint Cookies and Cosmonaut Cocktail
- 2Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies Paired with a Classic Old Fashioned
- 3Lemon-Spice Molasses Cookies and the Palmetto Cocktail
- 4Polvorones Cookies with The Godfather Cocktail