Monday, December 28, 2009

Whiskey Currant Walnut Cookies

I made these cookies because I wanted a third variety for the bins of Christmas Cookies I toted to my in-laws places this year. While flipping through the same magazine I used to find the recipe for my Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies, I spotted a recipe for Currant Bourbon Cookies. I have a stash of currants in my fridge – still waiting to be turned into scones (I’ll get to them soon! Maybe ...) – and they sounded like a nice, simple treat that could be tucked into the crannies of my cookie tins.

I didn’t have any bourbon on hand and used whiskey for my booze flavoring. I was also halving the recipe, and the original called for two eggs, so I threw one whole egg right in without reading all the way through. Alas, the second egg was intended for an egg wash, and not for the cookie dough. I upped the amount of flour slightly, and the cookies came out just fine. In fact, I think the whole egg made the texture slightly softer and more tender, which is how I prefer my unleavened cookies.

Martha’s recipe doesn’t call for any nuts, but I thought they would be nice with the currants. Because I still had a ton of citrus on hand, I also threw in some grated orange zest. The orange is subtle and brightens the whiskey and currant flavors.

Whiskey Currant Walnut Cookies

½ cup unsalted butter, room temp
½ cup sugar
1 egg, room temp
3 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon
zest of half an orange
½ teaspoon vanilla

1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup dried currants
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

Turbinado sugar to roll the cookies in (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together butter and sugar. Add whiskey, orange zest, and vanilla. Add egg, and blend well.

In separate bowl, sift together flour and salt. Add to wet ingredients, then stir in currants and walnuts.  Chill for at least an hour or overnight. I then made little balls of dough with my hands and rolled them in turbinado sugar. Alternately, you could make logs and chop the dough in ½” slices.

Place cookies on silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until just barely light brown at the edges.

Makes 18-24.

These are a very simple, un-showy cookie. Even though I rolled them in sugar, they aren’t as sweet as most desserts, which I thought was quite nice. The texture is sandy-crumbly but still moist. Because of the currants, the taste is quite reminiscent of scones. I think they would be delightful with a spot of British Breakfast, Earl Grey, or similar black tea.

Printable recipe here.

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