2000s Recipes + Menus

Maida Heatter’s Chocolate Cookies with Gin-Soaked Raisins

Makes about 12 large cookies
  • Active time:40 min
  • Start to finish:10 hr (includes soaking raisins)
December 2000
“Crusty on the outside, with a rich, gooey center,” wrote Heatter about her cookies in our December 2000 issue; “They…pack a punch…you won’t taste the gin, but you’ll feel its effects.” Indeed, these are for grown-ups only. Start macerating the fruit a day ahead.

This is just one of Gourmet’s Favorite Cookies: 1941-2008. Although we’ve retested the recipes, in the interest of authenticity we’ve left them unchanged: The instructions below are still exactly as they were originally printed.
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup gin
  • 3 cups sifted confectioners sugar (sift before measuring)
  • 2/3 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process (sift before measuring)
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (unsifted)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 oz pecans (2 1/4 cups), toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped
  • Combine raisins and gin in a cup and let stand at least 8 hours to macerate.
  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour 2 large baking sheets, shaking off excess flour.
  • Mix confectioners sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, flour, and salt with an electric mixer at low speed. Add egg whites and vanilla and continue mixing until smooth.
  • Drain raisins in a sieve, without pressing, then add raisins to dough with pecans. Stir until thoroughly mixed. (Dough will be thick and sticky.)
  • Working quickly, drop 1/4 cup dough for each cookie onto a baking sheet, spacing cookies at least 3 inches apart, and gently pat down each mound to about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, in middle of oven, rotating sheet halfway through baking, 15 to 17 minutes total, or until cookies appear cracked and centers are just set. Cool cookies on sheet 1 minute, then transfer carefully to a rack to cool completely.
Cooks’ notes:
  • You can soak raisins in gin up to 1 week.
  • Cookies keep in an airtight container at room temperature 5 days.
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