These gluten-free whiskey almond cookie bars with sea salt are nothing short of delicious. The gooey almond cookie is stuffed with chocolate chips, topped off with a smooth whiskey kick and gorgeous sea salt flakes. It’s perfect for an adult treat or dessert, and such a crowd-pleaser at bake sales.
Each bite is pure heaven (at least, I think so!). You get the crunchy outside of the biscuit bar and then a delicious gooey cookie centre. The sweet almond flavour matches perfectly with the boozy kick.
✏️ Making a tasty and easy recipe
When I first made these, I was using a plain flour gluten-free blend. It was delicious but tasted a little powdery and somehow dry. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't what I'd call the best ever cookie bars!
Instead, I swapped this for a small amount of cornflour (known as cornstarch in the US) and a hefty amount of delicious ground almonds. They provide so much extra flavour, I love it!
🥘 Ingredients notes
- As with any gluten-free baking, always check your ingredients to ensure there is no gluten contained within them. Sometimes items that should be naturally gluten-free can have cross-contamination from other foods produced in the same factory, etc.
- Always sieve your flour and baking powder. I used to be a bit lazy and skip this part, but it really makes such a difference to get you a lump-free mixture.
- When measuring your ingredients, I always recommend using weights rather than cups where possible for greater accuracy. Accuracy is important for the amount of flour used.
- Use your favourite brand of whiskey for these cookie bars. I’m not a pro at what’s good and what isn’t, but the whiskey taste is quite prominent so you’re going to want to go with one that you love. I tend to use a scotch whiskey like Johnnie Walker or Whyte & MacKay, or you could go for the well-loved Tennessee classic - Jack Daniels.
🔪 Equipment notes
- I like to use digital scales for weighing my ingredients as it's easier and more accurate than other scales. I'm a fan of these KitchenAid or Salter ones!
- Use measuring spoons for your tsp and tbsp amounts where possible. Be sure to level off the heaped ingredients in your scoops before adding them to your mix.
You can store your cookie bars in an airtight container. They should keep for up to 4 days stored at room temperature.
If you like your cookie bars a bit firmer and chewier, you can store them in the fridge instead.
💭 Top tips for success
- When making your whiskey almond cookie bars, try not to over-beat your cookie mix. This will make your cookies a bit dense rather than soft and light.
- I know it sounds weird, but tossing your chocolate chips in flour before you bake them is the best way to stop them from all sinking to the bottom of the bars. If this does happen, don’t worry too much, as each bite of your cookie bar will still be delicious! I like to chuck my choc chips into my sieve over the cookie mix and tip the flour over them – two birds, one stone.
- When cooking your whiskey almond cookie bars, it’s important to remove them from the oven when there’s still a slight wobble in the middle. This will give you nice soft and gooey bars. However, if you prefer your cookies to be less gooey and slightly more cake-like, then bake them for an extra 5mins from this point.
- Sprinkling sea salt flakes over your cookie bars as soon as they come out of the oven is optional, but it will add an extra delicious taste a texture. You can also use other types of salt to sprinkle over the top.
If you’ve got any specific questions on making these tasty gluten-free whiskey almond cookie bars, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to help out!
♻️ Alternatives and substitutions
I usually make these cookie bars with milk chocolate chips, but swapping these for dark chocolate or a mixture of chocolates would also be delicious!
As an optional decoration over these bars, I sometimes like to add flaked almonds over the cookie bars before they go into the oven.
Another delicious decoration idea is to melt 50g of chocolate and drizzle this generously over the cooled cookie bars before cutting them into squares.
If you don’t drink alcohol, you can still make these delicious whiskey almond cookie bars by swapping the whiskey for flavouring. Swap the 2 tbsp of whiskey in this recipe for 1 tsp of whisky / bourbon extract.
🧁 Other goodies
So, I definitely recommend that you whip up a batch of these gluten-free whiskey almond cookie bars with sea salt! But as an avid home baker, I’m sure you’re asking yourself “what next?”.
If you love that salty-sweet combo, then you’ll also love my recipe for salted rum dulce de leche sauce. It’s perfect drizzled over ice-cream or added to your buttercreams. So much boozy baking joy!
Or if you’re a big fan of a cookie bar, why no take a look at my recipe for Bakewell cookie bars with a jam swirl? I’m obsessed with all things Bakewell and these bad boys are such a sweet treat!
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Gluten-Free Whiskey Almond Cookie Bars
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- 115 g (½ cups) unsalted butter
- 100 g (½ cups) light brown soft sugar
- 80 g (⅓ cups) golden caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100 g (1 cups) ground almonds
- 150 g (⅔ cups) milk chocolate chips
- 45 g (⅓ cups) cornstarch (cornflour in the UK)
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp whiskey
- 30 g (¼ cups) flaked almonds (optional)
- 1 tsp sea salt (optional)
- Pre-heat oven: 180°C / 160°C (fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350°F
- Melt the butter (microwave for 30-60secs) and stir in the sugars until smooth.
- Lightly beat the egg and add this to the slightly cooled butter mix along with the vanilla extract, stirring until fully combined.
- Add the ground almonds to the mix and stir until smooth.
- Sieve the baking powder into the mixture and then add the chocolate chips to the sieve. Sift the cornflour through this into the mixture to coat the chips.
- Set the chocolate chips to one side and fold the sifted flour and powder into the mixture.
- Add the whiskey to the mixture and stir until smooth.
- Stir in flour-coated chocolate chips until spread evenly throughout.
- Pour the cookie mix into a lined 8inch square tin, smoothing it out evenly, before sprinkling the flaked almonds on top and baking for 20-25mins, or until there is only a slight wobble in the centre and it has a crispy top.
- Remove the cookie bars from the oven, and sprinkle the sea salt over the top, before allowing them to cool and cutting them into squares.
- This is a gluten-free recipe, but always check the label on your ingredients for cross-contamination and other allergen warnings.
* The nutrition information provided is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator and actual values may vary.