Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gingerbread Ale Cookies

 Gingerbread Ale Cookies sound a little wild. I definitely got some off looks when  talked about the idea. My thought process was that if you can make a stout cake with a stout then why can't you make a cookie with a gingerbread ale. Why, indeed. I get really excited when I have an idea, a crazy idea, and I try it and it works. These cookies have a lovely hint of orange to them which I enjoy but if you don't you could always take it out. I saw this Gingerbread Ale from Bison Brewery and thought it would be fun to bake with, and drink of course. The ale on it's own I'm not a huge fan of but I would drink it. In the cookie it doesn't impart much of a flavor so you could also try this recipe with a stout probably or a different ale. I'm not really sure how a stout would change the texture though, I will have to experiment sometime. This is a really nice dough to work with, not to thick or thin, a little sticky, which can be helpful. I still added the typical gingerbread spices because I didn't think the beer could do it on it's own. I used Penzey's spices in these cookies as well as in the Gingerbread Toffee from a post a few days ago. If you're brave then you could leave out the spices and see what fun flavor you get. Oh! or you could leave out the spices then roll them in a cinnamon sugar mixture...that would be fun!

Gingerbread Ale Cookies
  • 2 bottles (12 ounces each) Gingerbread beer
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 medium orange, zested
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ - ½ cup granulated sugar (for rolling)
  1. Put the beer, molasses and honey into a medium saucepan and reduce over medium heat until you have about 1/3 cup of liquid. If any foam appears skim it off the top. Be careful of the mixture overflowing, it will  happen very quickly, if it does happen. You will know you have hit 1/3 of a cup of liquid as the liquid will suddenly begin to aggressively foam due to the high concentration of sugar (This looks different from foaming due to carbon dioxide, the bubbles are much larger with the sugar foaming). Let this reduction cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and blend thoroughly. Then add the orange zest, orange juice and beer reduction and blend again. Mix the flour, baking soda, and spices together then slowly add to the beer mixture.
  4. Fill a small bowl with the rolling sugar. Using a uniform scoop, scoop mounds of cookies into the bowl of sugar and roll until coated. (I used a #40 scoop which is about 1 ½ tablespoons). Place cookies onto an aluminum cookie sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat. Make sure you do not overcrowd the cookies; you should be able to fit about 12 cookies on a half sheet pan. Bake for 12-16 minutes. (Mine baked for 12 minutes).
  5.  Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet until they are cool enough (about 10 minutes) to transfer to    wire racks to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Food Network

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