I really wanted to call these Old Fashion Shortbread Cookies but, given this is one of the oldest cookie recipes out there, I felt like it wouldn’t be clear I was actually talking about the cocktail! Yes, this cookie is in fact inspired by one of my favorite drinks – a delightful mix of bourbon and orange.

I actually think the shortbread cookie lends itself nicely to the flavors of an old fashion with the buttery flavor mimicking the smoothness of the drink. The cookie itself isn’t too sweet either so you can really taste the bourbon and orange coming through. For me though, the bourbon didn’t come through quite enough so the glaze helped amplify those flavors.

Bourbon Orange Shortbread Cookies

My favorite cocktail and my favorite cookie all rolled into one!
Course Dessert, Snack
Servings 36


For the Cookies

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated or cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tsp orange flavor extract
  • 4 tbsp bourbon
  • 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest

For the Bourbon Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp bourbon


For the Cookies

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter, sugars, sea salt, vanilla bean paste, and orange extract. Mix on medium for about 2 minutes or until smooth (not fluffy), stopping to scrape bowl
  • Add the bourbon and orange zest and mix again on medium until incorporated. Scrape down bowl. Add the flour all at once, mixing slowly to start then gradually back up to medium speed. The dough will pull from the sides of the bowl and form a ball on the paddle.
  • Split the dough in half and shape into a solid log if you're planning to cut these into circles like traditional shortbread. You can also form into discs if you're going to cut them out. Once shaped, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours – I prefer overnight.
  • At this stage you can also freeze the dough! It will last for about two months
  • Once the dough is ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment or a silicon mat
  • Cut your log of dough into 1/2 inch slices or roll out to about 1/4 inch and use your favorite cookie cutter!
  • Place the cookies on the tray – leaving about an inch between them. They shouldn't spread much.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes until they just start to turn golden brown. Place on cooling rack to cool.

For the Glaze

  • Once all the cookies are baked and cool – it's time to prepare the glaze
  • Put confectioner's sugar in a small bowl and slowly start adding bourbon one tbsp at a time. You want this glaze to be pretty thick – like a pourable glue. So mix well and add in the bourbon only a little at a time. You can add more sugar if you accidentally add too much bourbon
  • Drizzle the glaze on the cool cookies and let harden
Keyword bourbon shortbread, easy cookie, shortbread, shortbread cookie