I was going to tell you that these are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made, but that would be unfair to all the other ones I’ve made over the years. You can check out those recipes in my definitive ranking of chocolate chip cookies.
However, these cookies are delicious and probably one of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made, by virtue of two things: Bourbon and vanilla sea salt. I’m a fan of putting bourbon in anything, but they have a special place in these cookies, which also have rye flour and big chunks of dark chocolate.
Also, as anyone who reads this blog knows, I’m a fan of putting sea salt on cookies. In this recipe, I mixed sea salt with seeds from a vanilla bean, so there’s an extra layer of flavor on top. I love the way the vanilla pairs with the bourbon.
A couple notes about making these cookies: One, you’ll need to chill the dough for a while. This can be annoying, especially when you want cookies ASAP (and, let’s face it, we all want cookies ASAP). But commit to the chill and you’ll be rewarded with soft, pillowy cookies that practically melt in your mouth.
Second, you’ll want to press down the dough balls a little before you put the cookies in the oven. This will allow them to spread more evenly and not become too dense. I used the palm of my hand and applied gentle pressure. Don’t slam your hand down on top because the dough is fragile from being in the fridge, and then they might fall apart.
My boyfriend and I have been eating at least of couple of these cookies a day since I made them the other night. He told me they’re better than the ones we sometimes order from a local pizza place for dessert, which was a high compliment because those cookies are delicious.
Here’s a song to get you started on your bourbon chocolate chip cookie journey.
Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies with Vanilla Sea Salt
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate wafers or chunky chips, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp bourbon
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 tsp flaky sea salt
Pulse the wafers or chunky chocolate chips in a food processor until small pieces form. Set aside.
Whisk the AP flour, rye flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Then beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and bourbon and beat until incorporated. Reduce the speed and add the dry mixture until it’s incorporated.
Scoop balls of dough (1/4 cup worth) out of the bowl and put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the sheet and place it in the fridge for at least two hours and up to a day.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Mix the sea salt with vanilla bean seeds. Place dough balls at least 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and press down on the top gently to flatten them slightly. Sprinkle with the vanilla sea salt. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the cookies are golden brown around the edges but soft in the middle. Remove the sheets from the oven and let the cookies cool for a couple minutes, then let them cool the rest of the way on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!