The Perfect Cookie & Cocktail Pairing For This Fall Season

With the weather cooling down and our fall sweet tooth in full swing, we found the perfect cookie and cocktail pairing, brought to you by Katherine Cobbs, author of COOKIES & COCKTAILS. You can grab this awesome book and see her other recipes here.

Whiskey-Pecan Milk Cowboy Russian

Chris Castro’s spin on a White Russian swaps whiskey for the usual vodka, homemade coffee liqueur for the Kahlua, and uses the distinctively nutty “milk” from freshly ground, locally grown pecans in place of dairy. It’s boldly flavored and dangerously drinkable.

1 ounce bourbon
1 ounce Coffee Liqueur (recipe follows)
2 ounces Pecan Milk (recipe follows)
Orange zest
Freshly grated nutmeg

Fill a shaker tin three quarters full of ice. Add the bourbon, coffee liqueur, and pecan milk. Shake vigorously until light and frothy, then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Finely grate a bit of orange zest and nutmeg on top with a microplane grater.

Pecan Milk

1 cup raw pecans, soaked 30 minutes and drained
4 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1⁄4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

1. Combine the soaked pecans, water, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and salt in a high-speed blender. Blend on high for 2 to 3 minutes until creamy.
2. Refrigerate 1 hour until the liquid separates from the solids. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean quart-sized jar. Discard solids.
3. Refrigerate for up to 1 week. Shake well before serving. Makes 1 quart

Homemade Coffee Liqueur

1⁄2 vanilla bean
2 cups whiskey
1 cup quality whole coffee beans, cracked
4 cacao nibs
1 orange peel strip
1 cup simple syrup

1. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds into a clean jar. Add the whiskey and coffee beans. Cover, shake, and set aside in a cool, dark place for 24 hours. Shake from time to time.
2. After 24 hours, add the cacao nibs and orange peel to the jar. Cover, shake, and return to the cool, dark place for 24 hours more.
3. Strain the mixture through a coffee filter. Stir in the simple syrup. Store in the refrigerator up to 6 months. Makes 3 cups.

Maple-Pecan Sandwich Cookies with Bacon

A rich and buttery partner for Chris Castro’s alt-milk whiskey punch that uses pecans from the state’s abundant pecan groves. Bacon complements bourbon’s smokiness, while maple tempers the sweet, caramel-y burn. Makes 18

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
1⁄8 teaspoon kosher salt
3⁄4 cup cornstarch
2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup Maple Frosting with Bacon (recipe follows)

1. Center racks in the oven and preheat to 350°F.
2. Combine the butter, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Whisk together the cornstarch, flour, and chopped pecans. Add the dry ingredients 1⁄4 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed, until dough is smooth.
3. Halve the dough. Roll each portion between 2 sheets of parchment paper into a 10-inch circle, about ¼-inch thick. Transfer the rounds to the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up. Cut the chilled dough out with a 2-inch round cookie cutter. Bake, in batches, for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until the cookies are golden at the edges. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
4. Spread the flat sides of half of the cookies with a tablespoon of the frosting. Top with the flat side of another cookie.

Maple Frosting with Bacon

1 cup packed brown sugar
1⁄2 cup evaporated milk
1⁄3 cup unsalted butter
1⁄4 cup maple syrup
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 slices cooked bacon, very finely chopped

Combine the brown sugar, evaporated milk, butter, and maple syrup in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-low and boil for 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract. Let the frosting cool in the saucepan for 10 minutes. Transfer the frosting to a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and spreadable, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold in the finely chopped bacon. Makes 2 cups

From COOKIES & COCKTAILS by Katherine Cobbs, published by Tiller Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Copyright © 2019 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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