Bourbon Dark Chocolate Crack Cookies Recipe

by on November 14, 2013

Bourbon Dark Chocolate Crack Cookies on

There are cookies, and then there are bad-ass cookies. Ones that are nearly impossible to mindlessly eat. After the first bite, they stop you and make you take a look at what it was you just sunk your teeth into. These are one of those.

A deliciously, rich chocolate and bourbon rifted cookie. A chocolate cookie with a little swagger.

Bourbon Dark Chocolate Crack Cookies on

This little bad boy is originally inspired by a cookie from David Lebovitz’s amazing Ready for Dessert. We’ve been smitten with his recipe for quite a while now, posting another adaptation with dried cherries and Luxardo a couple years ago. As with most recipes that our hearts are fond of, we’ll tinker and tweak to suit our moods or particular cravings.

Those who know us will attest to our love of bourbon. For me in particular, I’d have to say it ranks number one amongst my favorite spirits. Give or take a day or two when a smooth rum or feisty tequila catches my tongue. The age of bourbon has never been so extraordinary, with so many exceptional craft distillers creating such a range of great bourbons to enjoy.

Bourbon Dark Chocolate Crack Cookies on

“Why not extend the smokey, subtly sweet pleasure of bourbon in a chocolate cookie?” I think to myself one day. Well, I didn’t think it in so many words, it was more like, “Bourbon… Chocolate… must have!” and soon this cookie was devised.

So for all of you bourbon lovers out there (BTW if you are in NYC in the flatiron district, there is a great bourbon bar on 26th called Maysville – tons of bourbons and good food – thanks Rachel for the recommendation- you rock!)… Sorry, “squirrel” moment. So for all of you bourbon lovers out there, please share your favorites. It is always a pleasure to find another great bourbon.

My favorite go-to is Buffalo Trace. Great character, smooth, goes great in cocktail, nice straight up, and is an incredible price for the quality.

I’d love to hear your favorites.


Bourbon Dark Chocolate Crack Cookies on

Dark Chocolate Bourbon Crack Cookies

Yield: 24-30 cookies

Total Time: 3 hours

Adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz. For a cherry version, we posted another adaptation previously here. We will often freeze the chocolate dough balls after they've been coated with the regular sugar, and when ready to use, thaw for about 30 minutes, coat in confectioners sugar and bake. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month. These chocolate cookies are best eaten while still warm (aren't most cookies) or at least the same day.


  • 3/4 cup (100g) all-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3g) Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 8 ounces (225g) Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Bourbon
  • 2 large Eggs, room temp.
  • 1/3 cup (65g)  Sugar (+ extra for coating cookies)
  • Confectioners Sugar (for coating cookies)


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Combine the dark chocolate, butter, and bourbon in a medium bowl over a pot of simmering water. Gently melt the chocolate and butter, stirring frequently. Remove the bowl from the simmering water.
  3. Whisk together the eggs and sugar on high until the mixture forms a well-defined ribbon when the whisk attachment is lifted out, about 5 minutes.  By hand, gently stir in the melted chocolate mixture until combined.
  4. Again by hand, stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Cover and refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours).

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a couple baking pans with parchment paper.

  1. Pour the granulated sugar and confectioners sugar into two separate small bowls. Form the chocolate cookies into 1 1/2-inch balls. Roll the balls in the regular sugar, and then roll in the confectioners sugar to coat.  Place on the baking sheets spaced about 1-inch apart.
  2. Bake for 8 minutes then rotate the cookies sheets and bake for another 6-8 minutes. Cookies should still be slightly firm on the edges and fairly soft in the centers. Don't overbake them.
  3. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan until firm enough to handle then transfer to a cooling rack.
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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marta @ What Should I eat for breakfast today November 14, 2013 at 1:40 am

I do not drink bourbon, but I like the idea of adding it to cookies :)


2 Belinda @themoonblushbaker November 14, 2013 at 2:39 am

These are always made every year by me and my mum. They are so easy and yes they are so addictive! I like to add peppermint schnapps to mine but the idea of bourbon sounds deleicious


3 Lorraine November 14, 2013 at 10:47 am

I’m not a lover of bourbon, but when I saw this recipe, peppermint schnapps came to mind.


4 Eva @ 1 Big Bite November 14, 2013 at 3:18 am

I can’t wait to start the into cookie baking season, this is a nice foretaste.
Love baking with booze especially in combination with chocolate!

Thanks for sharing!


5 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar November 14, 2013 at 4:04 am

YES!! These look freaking fantastic! And the bourbon in there is fab.


6 Tieghan November 14, 2013 at 5:33 am

Holy moly! These are awesome! I love the dark chocolate and bourbon together. So good!


7 Averie @ Averie Cooks November 14, 2013 at 6:09 am

They’re gorgeous! Chocolate & bourbon & cookies! I’ve only made ice cream with bourbon and baked beans, and have used it in cake batter, but never in cookies. Must try! Pinned :)


8 November 14, 2013 at 6:47 am

I’m with Averie on this one… what is not to love about that combo of flavors! I bet they can become deadly addictive! Great job again!!


9 Molly @pbpickles November 14, 2013 at 7:27 am

Earlier this year I started digging into my family ancestry and turns out my great-great-great grandfather was a whiskey distiller pre-prohibition who at one point was outselling Jack Daniels! Members of my generation of the family tree are resurrecting the family business and recently started producing Belle Meade bourbon (Greenbrier Distillery). I may be partial, but it’s the best and my favorite to sip and throw into recipes! I wrote about the discovery on my blog:



10 White on Rice Couple November 14, 2013 at 4:53 pm

That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to keep an eye out for the Belle Meade too.


11 Susan November 14, 2013 at 7:36 am

I don’t drink bourbon, but I sure as hell love to eat it. And you can’t go wrong when you start out with a David Leibovitz recipe. Yum!


12 Sandra @ foodmanna November 14, 2013 at 8:06 am

I always love the idea of Bourbon in dessert. Doesn’t it make everything more special? Especially more so now since it’s year end.


13 Beth @ bethcakes November 14, 2013 at 8:06 am

Ummm, oh my gosh I want all of these!


14 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook November 14, 2013 at 8:20 am

Buffalo Trace is my favorite for baking, and it is fantastic with chocolate. My husband drinks it and I bake with it … a perfect match!


15 Laney (Ortensia Blu) November 14, 2013 at 8:49 am

You had me at bourbon! And mine is Knob Creek…Manhattan…on the rocks…2 cherries…extra ice:)


16 White on Rice Couple November 14, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Knob Creek used to be my go-to as well. Love that you have your cocktail choice nailed and defiant.


17 Victoria November 14, 2013 at 9:28 am

Ahhh! These are my uncle’s favorite cookie ever! We used to make him a bunch every year for his birthday. We use a recipe from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book, never thought to add anything exciting to them. Super excited to try these this year! :) And I think some mini chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate) would be another awesome addition.


18 Noelle November 15, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Indeed! Have been making these cookies (minus the bourbon!) aka Chocolate Crinkles from mom’s 1960s Betty Crocker Cooky Book for 40 years. The bourbon will make them all grown up. What a pleasure!


19 Candice November 14, 2013 at 10:08 am

What’s the texture of the cookies?


20 White on Rice Couple November 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Hi Candice. They have a soft, dense texture. Not quite fudge-like.


21 Carlinne @Cook with 2 Chicks November 14, 2013 at 10:11 am

Bourbon! Chocolate! Were you writing this for me? My favorite is Maker’s 46. I’m almost out, so I will definitely try Buffalo Trace. I can’t wait to try these cookies.


22 White on Rice Couple November 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Maker’s 46 is nice. Love that bourbon too.


23 Sophie November 14, 2013 at 11:35 am

Yes! Buffalo Trace is a favorite of ours as well. Not to toot my own horn (since it isn’t my original recipe anyway) but I believe you two once pinned the Vermontucky Cocktail from my blog with Buffalo Trace in the background :)

Blantons is my favorite fancy bottle. Four Roses is pretty hip around these parts but I find it a bit sweet for sipping (Pendleton, same). We’re pretty partial to Old Overholt when it comes to rye — or — any day! But for the price point, for every-day, just-got-home-from-work-pour-me-a-bourbon, I am a Jim Beam girl at heart. White label, standard. Just hard to beat!

These cookies look like an espresso version my grandmother used to make…. espresso snowballs, I believe they were called. Love your twist! Cheers!


24 White on Rice Couple November 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Your photos of the Vermontucky cocktail were great, and the it sounds so delicious. I haven’t really explored the ryes too much yet, so it looks like I need to grab a bottle of Old Overholt and sample a bit. Thanks for sharing your favorites.


25 Karen November 14, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I can’t wait to make these!

My current favorite bourbon is Tuthilltown Spirits’ Baby Bourbon, made in their distillery here in upstate New York.


26 White on Rice Couple November 14, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Haven’t tried Tuthilltown yet. I’ll have to keep an eye out!


27 Tracy | Pale Yellow November 14, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Bourbon + chocolate is fantastic! Love the idea of adding a little bourbon to my cookies!


28 Christina November 16, 2013 at 8:04 pm

So tasty looking but they didn’t turn out at all for me! :( The balls stayed balls and we crumbly and dry. I’m sure I over cooker them a bit but shouldn’t they have flattened a little bit? I feel like there is a wet ingredient missing. When the batter left the fridge it was more like fudge. What sis I do wrong?


29 White on Rice Couple November 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm

They don’t flatten much, and the dough is fudge like. You might try chilling them a bit less, and like most cookies, if they are overcooked they will be dry.


30 Nan November 17, 2013 at 11:59 am

These sound perfect for an after-game-day treat – instead of a “sippy-cup” for the road! I want you to know that I ordered two cookbooks, one for me and one for my sister…we both love it! Not only is it beautiful, but the recipes are the kinds of things we want to eat! I’ve had your book for about two weeks now and have already made 6 dishes…loved the Roasted Corn Tabouli – even in November it was great! I made your Hearty Celery Root Soup for my book club lunch this week and everyone asked for the recipe – no surprise there, it was fabulous and I’d never had celery root before! I plan to cook my way through your book – it will keep me fat and happy through the holidays for sure! xo, Nan


31 White on Rice Couple November 18, 2013 at 11:59 am

So glad you are loving the recipes! Love that we are keeping you happy!


32 Julie Ashborn November 18, 2013 at 9:54 am

These look delicious. Every year we try to have a big post holiday blues Southern Blues party at my cousin’s house and these will be perfect! Can’t go wrong with chocolate and bourbon. BTW – have you ever been to the Thirsty Crow in Silverlake? I am not much of a bourbon drinker but they have some amazing cocktails. I had one where one of the ingredients was “magic” which we figured out was a whole nutmeg in the bottom of the glass and it was divine.


33 White on Rice Couple November 18, 2013 at 11:58 am

We haven’t been to Thirsty Crow yet. Thanks for the great recommendation. We’ll have to check it out soon!


34 Bambi November 18, 2013 at 10:58 am

Maker’s Mark on this home front will be making these cookies ASAP!


35 Make Your Own Cookie Cutters November 19, 2013 at 3:58 am

Will definitely make this. Can’t pass a good chocolate cookie :)


36 Dina November 19, 2013 at 8:20 am

they look yummy!


37 Deepa G Joshi November 25, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Gorgeous cookies..and lovely pics..I could easily gobble some from the plate..hihihi..


38 Spencer @ Moo-Lolly-Bar November 26, 2013 at 3:52 am

Looks absolutely delicious! I reckon I could eat about 100 of those chocolate cookies.


39 Heather December 5, 2013 at 8:39 am

could I make the dough ahead of time and freeze?


40 White on Rice Couple December 11, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Yep. We do all the time and it works great. Just allow them to thaw for 30 minutes or so before. They keep their ball shape more when colder.


41 Masha December 5, 2013 at 9:38 am

Can i use whiskey instead of bourbon?


42 White on Rice Couple December 11, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Of course. Any alcohol you like. Especially since bourbon is a type of whiskey.


43 christina m December 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm

I made these the first time about a week ago – this time I added chopped pecans and instead of rolling them in powdered sugar, I did a mix of raw sugar and cocoa powder.

My husband liked them the first time around, he said adding the pecans and using cocoa powder made it even better this go around!


44 Miranda December 11, 2013 at 6:10 am

How many cookies does this make?? Looks delicious. I want to make them for my work’s luncheon.


45 White on Rice Couple December 11, 2013 at 11:32 pm

About 24-30 cookies.


46 Sonja December 18, 2013 at 8:31 am

took your recommendation to heart went out and bought Buffalo Trace bourbon, made your cookies last night and they turned out to be very delicious treat, pre-Christmas baking, my son (22years old) sends big thanks, looking for some more free time over the holidays so I can pay special attention to your book sitting on a pile of “new” cookbooks in my collection, thank you for the inspiration and wish you lots of great ideas and happy holidays……………Sonja


47 kat December 18, 2013 at 10:40 am

Mmm, I finally made these last night. It was my first time ever making these crackle-type cookies. I learned you need to almost cake on the powdered sugar instead of just roll it around because my first batch pretty much had the sugar soaking into the cookie :( But that’s good because that meant we got to eat the “bad” batch! These were so amazing…I even ate one of the bad ones this morning as I was drinking my morning coffee! I’m making a big batch again tonight because people are definitely gonna want more than 2 in their box of treats! Thank you!


48 amy December 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Hi there,

Thank you for this recipe. I made it yesterday morning for our Christmas dinner for my dad. Everyone else liked it, too. This recipe is a keeper. It was very good. I used Valrhona dark chocolate 85%. Dense, chocolatey, and oh so good. Happy holidaze to you!!



49 Sally D December 26, 2013 at 1:19 pm


The dark chocolate your recipe calls for, is that sweetened or unsweetened?




50 White on Rice Couple December 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm

It is sweetened dark chocolate.


51 TN February 5, 2014 at 11:10 am


I have been planning on making these cookies for a long time and finally made it last night. A quick question: Why mine doesn’t melt down much as yours and doesnt look as white as yours? Is there any tips?

By the way, I bought your book and it is soooo inspiring! Just love it!

Thank you!


52 White on Rice Couple February 10, 2014 at 9:07 pm

Might be how cold the dough is. Or it could be how much flour or the batch of flour. If you measure by cups instead of weight it will be less consistent to the recipe. Thanks so much for the compliments on our book. Yay!


53 Spencer @ Moo-Lolly-Bar July 17, 2014 at 3:41 am

Those cookies look amazing! I love bourbon and I love dark chocolate so this is a match made in Heaven for me!


54 Michael September 11, 2014 at 11:47 am

My favorite is Hooker’s House.. First distilled & aged in KY then moved to Sonoma and aged further in Pinot casks. Very very smooth


55 Rachel Davis November 2, 2014 at 8:07 pm

I just pulled my first batch of these cookies out of the oven and there was absolutely no spreading whatsoever. They taste awesome but are little rounded balls.

Have you ever had this issue? Do you know how to remedy it?


56 White on Rice Couple November 3, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Hi Rachel,
These spread very, very little. That’s part of why they have their “crack” texture. If you have the dough at room temperature it will spread a touch more than if fully chilled.


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