Bourbon Dark Chocolate Crack Cookies Recipe

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


5 from 1 vote
Dark Chocolate Bourbon Crack Cookies
Total Time
3 hrs

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.

Course: Dessert
Servings: 24 cookies
  • 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).
  5. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a couple baking pans with parchment paper.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan until firm enough to handle then transfer to a cooling rack.
{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. deborah christensen

    Sounds delicious. Can I substitute brownie mix?

  2. Cj

    Thanks for this recipe! I made these last year for a ‘Robert Burns Day’ party, and they’ve been requested to make an appearance again for it this weekend! I’m also making shortbread for those who shy away from boozy cookies.
    Confession #1: To keep it honest, I used scotch instead of Bourbon.
    Confession #2: These were enjoyed numerous times during the rest of the year as well.
    Thanks again for combining two of our favorite things- Chocolate and Whiskey- in one cookie!

  3. Melissa

    Just made these…they’re good, but it would be helpful to clarify in the recipe that the dark chocolate used is sweetened. I used unsweetened dark chocolate (I figured that it would balance out after rolling it in the two different sugars), but the flavor is a tad bitter. They look pretty though.

    Overall I would make it again. Maybe add a little more bourbon =)

  4. Rachel Davis

    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?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      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.

  5. Michael

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

  6. Spencer @ Moo-Lolly-Bar

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

  7. TN


    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!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      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!

  8. Sally D


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



    1. White on Rice Couple

      It is sweetened dark chocolate.

  9. amy

    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!!


  10. kat

    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!

  11. Sonja

    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

  12. Miranda

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

    1. White on Rice Couple

      About 24-30 cookies.

  13. christina m

    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!

  14. Masha

    Can i use whiskey instead of bourbon?

    1. White on Rice Couple

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

  15. Heather

    could I make the dough ahead of time and freeze?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      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.

  16. Spencer @ Moo-Lolly-Bar

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

  17. Deepa G Joshi

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

  18. Dina

    they look yummy!

  19. Make Your Own Cookie Cutters

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

  20. Bambi

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

  21. Julie Ashborn

    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.

    1. White on Rice Couple

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

  22. Nan

    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

    1. White on Rice Couple

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

  23. Christina

    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?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      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.

  24. Tracy | Pale Yellow

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

  25. Karen

    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.

    1. White on Rice Couple

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

  26. Sophie

    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!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      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.

  27. Carlinne @Cook with 2 Chicks

    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.

    1. White on Rice Couple

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

  28. Candice

    What’s the texture of the cookies?

    1. White on Rice Couple

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

  29. Victoria

    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.

    1. Noelle

      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!

  30. Laney (Ortensia Blu)

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

    1. White on Rice Couple

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

  31. Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook

    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!

  32. Beth @ bethcakes

    Ummm, oh my gosh I want all of these!

  33. Sandra @ foodmanna

    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.

  34. Susan

    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!

  35. Molly @pbpickles

    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:


    1. White on Rice Couple

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


    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!!

  37. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    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 🙂

  38. Tieghan

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

  39. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

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

  40. Eva @ 1 Big Bite

    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!

  41. Belinda @themoonblushbaker

    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

    1. Lorraine

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

  42. Marta @ What Should I eat for breakfast today

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

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