Father’s Day is creeping up and I felt compelled to come up with the ultimate man cookie for my Dad this year. If your Dad is anything like mine, he hates being fussed over. So I won’t go into how lucky I am to have him in my life or how inspiring his rock solid demeanor, unwavering loyalty and heart of gold have been to me over the years. If I were to encapsulate my Dad into cookie form, it would start with a classic and reliable old standby using rugged ingredients, with a strong and sturdy exterior and a surprisingly soft and sweet interior.
Bacon had it’s moment and I think we all (and our waistlines) can agree, we’re over it. Sweetly spiced, oaky, barrel aged bourbon, however, is timeless. Bourbon just makes everything better; cocktails, long days, even cookies. My bestie recently gifted me a jar of alder wood smoked chocolate chips that I’ve been dying to incorporate into a special recipe and the moment I realized Father’s Day was coming up I knew exactly how I wanted to use them. I started with my classic chocolate chip cookie recipe and brought in a subtle mix of spicy and oaky undertones by adding bourbon soaked pecans. The deep smoky flavor of the alder wood smoked chocolate chips brings a warm and earthy complexity to the chocolate. Then to reinforce the manliness of it all, I topped the cookies with bourbon smoked sea salt for good measure. By combining this powerful mix of brawny flavors, I think I may have come up with the ultimate man cookies; Smoky Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Let’s all raise our glasses (and Smoky Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies) to the rock solid, steadfast Dad’s out there who’ve supported us and loved us unconditionally for as long as we can remember. We are forever grateful to you and love you with all of our hearts, even if our Father’s Day gifts get there a week late (sorry).
- pecan halves - roughly chopped - 1 1/2 cups
- bourbon - 1/4 cup plus one teaspoon
- unsalted butter at room temperature - 1 cup (2 sticks)
- brown sugar - 1 cup
- granulated sugar - 1/2 cup
- large eggs at room temperature - 2
- pure vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
- all purpose flour - 2 1/4 cups
- baking soda - 1 teaspoon
- baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- salt - 1 teaspoon
- smoked chocolate chips (or plain) - 1 cup (or 7 ounce jar of smoked chocolate chips)
- smoked bourbon sea salt (or plain sea salt) - 1-2 tablespoons
- Begin by roughly chopping the pecans and placing them in a shallow bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of bourbon over the pecans and cover the bowl. Allow to sit at least 4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator, so the pecans have time to soak up the bourbon.
- In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Mix on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Slowly add the eggs one at a time, and fully mix before adding the next. Then add the vanilla and remaining teaspoon of bourbon, beat until incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low until the flour is just incorporated.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans with a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Scoop cookies with a 1.5 TB sized cookie scoop and place closely on a lined baking sheet.
- Cover and chill the cookie dough balls in the refrigerate for at least 20-30 minutes.
- Once the cookie dough balls have chilled, preheat the oven to 350°. Evenly distribute the cookies 2 inches apart on lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the size of dough balls, until the edges start to turn a golden brown. Rotate the trays halfway through.
- While the cookies cool, sprinkle them liberally with the bourbon smoked sea salt. Pack them up and send send them to your dad, along with a good bottle of bourbon.
- * Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can also refrigerate the dough for up to 5 days and bake more as needed.
- * For the ultimate woodsy and smoky cookie use both the smoked chocolate chips and the bourbon smoked sea salt. If you don't have both or want to turn down the woodsy flavor, just use one of the two and sub in regular chocolate chips or plain sea salt.