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Recipes & Food Styling

“Whiskey and A Cookie!” for St. Patrick’s Day

Mar 16, 2021 | Cocktails, Cookies, Food Styling, Recipes

“Whiskey and A Cookie!” 

It was a wonderfully rainy day in New York City when I cozied up to the bar at Peacock Alley in the Waldorf Astoria. Unbeknownst to me at the time, it was just shortly before the hotel was closed several years ago for renovations. I say “wonderfully” rainy because on rainy days in New York you’re prompted to try new things that you might not ever experience if the weather hadn’t changed your plans to indoors. Some of the best adventures and best memories are from “wonderfully” rainy days in the city.

The bartender set down a shortbread cookie next to my drink. “I didn’t order that,” I told him. “I ordered a Robert Burns.”

That was the day I experienced, first-hand the tradition of “whiskey and a cookie.” I featured the custom in my book, “The Last Night on The Titanic,” and love to tell people about it.

No St. Patrick’s Day has ever been the same since without a “Whiskey and A Cookie!” This year, I just chilled some Irish whiskey in a glass, turned on U2 and made these shortbread cookies. Here is my mom’s recipe for the cookies, which is featured in my book, along with the Robert Burns cocktail.   

Shortbread Cookies

(Makes 7 dozen cookies)

1 pound butter
10 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups ground pecans (optional)
4 cups powdered sugar (optional)

Optional: 1/4 Cup Lavender buds

Using a hand-held mixer, cream together butter, sugar, water, and vanilla, gradually adding in flour and salt. Cream until
mixture is fluffy and light. Add vanilla and water. Add pecans if desired.

Mix together well. Roll cookie dough in your hands into 1-inch balls. Place balls evenly apart on buttered cookie sheet. Use the palm of your hand to press down each ball.

Bake in 325 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Optional: When cool, place powdered sugar on a plate and coat each cookie in powdered sugar.

—Jeanne Hinke