After the positive reviews for the bourbon balls, I wanted to make one more holiday treat. Gingerbread men are so festive, but I wanted to incorporate bourbon. No Southern cookbooks I have listed a recipe for gingerbread cookies–the closest was a recipe for Molasses Cookies in Bluegrass Winners or several recipes for Scotch Shortbread (from Bluegrass Winners, Out of Kentucky Kitchens, and Beyond the Fence). A quick search online revealed Brown Butter Bourbon Spice Cookies and Maker’s Mark Bourbon Shortbread Cookies. (Why anyone would use Maker’s Mark when Bulleit bourbon is available is beyond me, but back to the recipe at hand…)
I combined the recipes and decided to make them a little leaner by reducing the amount of butter and sugar and using whole wheat flour, Truvia, and agave instead of some of the regular flour and sugar. This recipe is tripled for 12 dozen and can be divided accordingly.
Bourbon Ginger Cookies
6 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 T baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
4 sticks unsalted butter, melted (browned, optional)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
12 packets Truvia
1/3 cup agave
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 T vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
1 cup Bulleit bourbon
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg until blended. Set aside.
Combine the butter (optionally browned and cooled), sugars, eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla extract, mixing thoroughly. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape into bowl. Add the bourbon and mix until well combined.
With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour/salt mixture and mix just until incorporated. Shape the dough into a ball, then flatten into a rectangular slab.
Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 325-350 degrees at least 25 minutes before cutting your cookies. Remove the refrigerated dough, roll out to a thickness of a quarter to half an inch, and cut cookies using your favorite cookie cutter. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake until the tops start to brown just slightly, between 10 and 20 minutes depending upon size and thickness.