Give Chocolate Chip Cookies A Boozy Burst Of Flavor With A Splash Of Baileys Liqueur

To a great many people, chocolate chip cookies in their purest form may well be perfection. The combination of sweet and salty dough studded with rich chocolate bursts, that was first baked up at the Toll House restaurant in Massachusetts by Ruth Wakefield, seems almost mathematically designed to please. That's precisely why the addition of ingredients can be a divisive issue. While some people love gooey butterscotch or the crunch of pretzels, others can't abide any augmentation. There is no right answer here, but for those who like a little chocolate chip cookie experimentation, there's an outside-the-box ingredient that will imbue layers of flavor into your cookies: Baileys Irish cream liqueur.

Carrying with it the flavors of cocoa and smooth Irish whiskey in a dram with a creamy body, Baileys — or, really, any Irish cream liqueur — is a perfect fit for chocolate chip cookies. The mild bite of the spirit perks up the flavors around it while adding notes of caramel, vanilla, and subtle woody undertones, while the creaminess of the beverage makes the cookies all the more rich. Baileys spreads the chocolate flavor throughout, but its overall subtlety doesn't overwhelm the palate with too much roasty dark flavor.

How to add Baileys to your go-to recipe

Adding Baileys to your chocolate chip cookies really couldn't be easier. In fact, no special recipe is needed; feel free to use your favorite recipe, provided it's one made from scratch. The trick comes when you are mixing the butter and sugar together. As the two homogenize and fluff through the light addition of air, add two or three tablespoons of Baileys along with an optional teaspoon of vanilla extract. Continue to blend the sugar, butter, and Baileys until fully combined. Then proceed with the recipe as usual.

If you're a fan of Baileys or Irish cream liqueur in general, you've likely used it to add a bit of spirit to a cup of coffee. The flavors are such a natural pairing that it wouldn't be beyond the pale to think a bit of coffee would be delightful in a Baileys-enlivened chocolate chip cookie. If that's the case, don't reach for the coffee pot, but rather add a few teaspoons of potent espresso powder to the dry ingredients in the recipe. Roasted notes will abound throughout these cookies as the coffee flavor mingles with the chocolate and whiskey.

While the flagship Baileys is the most natural fit for adding to chocolate chip cookies, it's not the only option. Experiment with other Baileys flavors, such as mint or salted caramel, or other cream liqueurs, such as spiced RumChata or the almond-tinged Disaronno Velvet.