This past weekend was Derby weekend and I was nostalgic thinking of my Old Kentucky Home. As usual on the first Saturday in May, I teared up at the playing of the state song just before the big race.
I was lucky enough to get to cover three derbys while a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader, where I met my husband. The Bluegrass is a special place.
Often on Derby Day, I make Derby pie. But this year I decided to create something different -- Kentucky Derby Cookies. Think of them as Derby pie in cookie form. Yes, there's bourbon and two kinds of nuts -- pecans and walnuts. That's because I learned that some versions of the pie have walnuts and others have pecans, which is what I've always used. Why choose?
And why wait until next Derby to bake up these delicious cookies? With more than half a cup of bourbon I promise you will enjoy them any day of the year. Besides, we have a Triple Crown to watch out for in the coming weeks.
Then next year, you can add Kentucky Derby Cookies to your Derby Day menu.
Kentucky Derby Cookies
(Note: This is a double batch that yields 7 dozen cookies. I like to bake a lot of cookies and freeze half or more for later. If you want to cut this recipe in half, no problem. For the bourbon, use 5 tablespoons)
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons bourbon
1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
1 12-ounce package chopped pecans
1 12-ounce package chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt -- and then set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the sugars and butter until smooth. Add in eggs and mix to combine. Mix in vanilla extract and bourbon. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans.
Drop large spoonfuls of cookie batter on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until just beginning to golden. Cool cookies on wire racks.