It all started with the sugar. I saw this recipe for bourbon infused sugar, and realized immediately that it had huge potential for our 21st C Outlander Kitchens, with one wee change.
I chose to infuse my sugar with a Talisker 1o YO – it’s got a lot of smoky notes that pair very well with chocolate. Lagavulin or Laphroaig are 2 other excellent, if more costly, choices for a smoky whisky.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stolen a sniff from my jar of smoky whisky sugar in the last week. It’s a very sensual experience.
You’ll have some extra sugar, even after a couple of batches of these cookies. Here are a few suggestions…use the sugar as a garnish on these recipes:
Where will you use it?
This chocolate shortbread recipe comes together easily, and is a new favourite around here. Unless you’ve got an army around, you may want to freeze the second log for a treat two weeks down the road.
If you do have an army that includes kids, my suggestion is to top some of these beauties with crushed candy cane, so that the whole family can enjoy.
(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)
: Delicious chocolate shortbread, glazed with bittersweet chocolate and topped with whisky & vanilla infused golden sugar.
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
Smoky Whisky Sugar:
- Vanilla Pod – 1
- Coarse Golden Sugar (Demerara, Turbinado, Sugar in the Raw) – 1 Cup
- Single Malt Whisky – 2 Tble
- Butter, room temperature – 1 Cup
- Powdered Sugar – ¾ Cup
- Cocoa – ⅓ Cup
- Vanilla – 1 tsp
- Salt – ½ tsp
- All-Purpose Flour – 2 Cups
- Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped – 4 oz
- Butter – 1 tsp
Read instructions through at least once before you begin.
Make Whisky Sugar: Move rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to lowest setting (150 to 175°F).
With tip of a sharp knife, split vanilla pod lengthwise, then scrape seeds from inside of pod. Add vanilla seeds to sugar and whisky in a small bowl. Stir quickly to combine and spread in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Dry sugar in oven overnight, propping the oven door open about an inch with a wooden spoon. Toss lightly to break up chunks and store in a tightly sealed container for up to 6 weeks.
Make Cookie Dough: With hand mixer on medium speed, beat together butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla and salt. Increase speed to medium high and beat until smooth and fluffy.
Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour, mixing to form a uniform dough. Divide dough in half. Roll each piece into a log 1½ to 2” in diameter, lightly flouring your counter and hands if necessary.
Wrap logs tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. (See notes.)
When ready to bake, move rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 350°F.
Unwrap logs and use a sharp knife to slice ¼” thick slices. Arrange slices 1” apart on parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake until just golden at edges, about 12-15 minutes.
Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
Make Chocolate Glaze: Melt chocolate and butter over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. (See notes.)
Assemble Cookies: Swipe the top half of the cookie through the chocolate glaze to cover about half of surface. Dry on wire rack about 5 minutes, then sprinkle with Smoky Whisky Sugar.
Store in a tin for up to 5 days.
Ith do leòr! (Eat Plenty)
- Dough logs can also be frozen for up to 4 weeks. Defrost on counter for 15 minutes before slicing.
- If you don’t have a double boiler, set a small glass/ceramic/metal bowl over a pan containing about 1” of simmering water. Careful, it gets hot!
- To make these kiddie friendly, top with crushed candy cane.