Guinness Chocolate Cookies… That’s right, BEER COOKIES!

Every year for Christmas I like to try a few new recipes for cookies. When I came across a recipe in Cuisine Holiday Cookies magazine for Guinness Chocolate Cookies I stopped dead in my tracks. Freaking beer cookies! Oh and they are chocolate. Beer. Chocolate. Need I say more? These cookies were going to happen. Image

The most time consuming part of this recipe was making the Guinness reduction beer syrup. All it takes is 2 bottles of Guinness and half a cup of brown sugar….and about a good 45 minutes to an hour. The syrup is a nice thick, molasses-like texture with a rich, sweet, syrupy taste. Beyond the syrup you make a pretty standard cookie dough.

Finally, you add both white chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips – I found the amount the recipe called for ended up being a little much. There were a handful of chocolate chips that ended up not making it into the dough. After my batch of cookies was completely cool I froze them to save for cookie trays…. so far a good third of the batch has been eaten straight from the freezer by a certain someone. No, not me. Well…okay I may have had 2 or 3. So needless to say, before even getting these cookies on my Christmas cookie plates to pass out I’d say they are a success!

Here is the recipe (originally found in Cuisine Holiday Cookies)

Syrup Ingredients:

  • 2 bottles Guinness extra stout beer (12 oz) or 2 bottles Guinness Draught (11.5 oz)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Dough Ingredient

  • 2 1/4 all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp espresso powder (I ended up leaving this out because I couldn’t find it at the grocery store)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.Image

Reduce beer with 1/2 cup brown sugar in a medium saucepan over med-high heat until it forms a thick syrup – about 1/3 cup. Remove syrup from heat, set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside.

Cream butter, shortening, sugar, brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add beer syrup, eggs and vanilla, then mix to combine.

Stir dry ingredients into creamed mixture until flour is no longer mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets (about 2 tbsp per cookie). Bake cookies until edges are set, 12-14 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for about 2 minutes then transfer to racks to cool completely. ImageAnother bonus, is if you buy a 6-pack of Guinness you’ll have four bottles of beer leftover to drink!

Happy Baking!

 

Pumpkin Part Two – Pumpkin Molasses Cheesecake Cookies

I don’t really think I have to explain why I decided to try this recipe. The title pretty much says it all. Pumpkin. Molasses. Cheesecake. Cookies. C’mon, how could you not try these?

Turns out the “cheesecake” part of the cookies is a little misleading, the cream cheese really just makes these more moist and cake-y. After they came out of the oven I decided they needed to be dressed up a little more, so I drizzled some cream cheese icing on them. This step should be done RIGHT before serving; I did this the night before and the icing melted a bit and kind of soaked into the cookies.

Here is the recipe:
Pumpkin Molasses Cheesecake Cookies (Found on A Sweet Baker)

Ingredients

IMG_0370  1 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp. vanilla
2 & 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 & 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

IMG_0371In your stand mixer with your paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese and butter.
Add in brown sugar and mix until creamy and smooth.
Add in egg, pumpkin puree, molasses and vanilla and mix well until blended well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
IMG_0372Slowly add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients in the mixer and blend until well.
Remove bowl from mixer and refrigerate for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
After dough has chilled remove from fridge and, using a medium cookie scoop, place balls of dough on prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are set in the middle.
Remove from oven and let cool completely on cookie sheet.
IMG_0374Since these cookies only called for 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree I’ve got some leftover pumpkin waiting to be baked into something else delicious.

So link up in the comments if you have a good pumpkin recipe!

 

Add It to the Christmas Cookie List

This recipe for Toffee Chip cookies is definitely going to find its way back on my list of recipes worth repeating. I normally make a batch of regular chocolate chip cookies for Christmas, but felt like spicing it up a little this year. I found this recipe in a Taste of Home magazine in my mountainous collections of cookbooks. 2012-12-22 12.00.04

The recipe is a little unusual because the bulk of the dry ingredients comes from graham cracker crumbs and the main source of sugar comes from sweetened condensed milk. This is a drop cookie (it’s okay if you just starting singing Drop It Like Its Hot, I may have too…), so you don’t have to mess with nicely rolling the dough into little balls or rolling it out with a rolling pin. Just grab a spoonful and dump it on your cookie sheet. (Okay, technically you are supposed to make “rounded” tablespoons and of dough, but you get the picture.)

2012-12-22 12.00.13

I do think the recipe is a little deceiving because the “toffee” part of these cookies is not an overwhelming flavor. I think they taste more like a jacked up chocolate chip cookie. I added the exact amount of toffee bits, which left me with some leftover bits. If you are a big toffee lover, through in some extra bits.

Ok enough of my rambling… here’s the recipe!

Toffee Chip Cookies (Original Source: Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies & Bars 2008)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup English toffee bits or almond brickle chips (I have no flipping clue what almond brickle chips are… I used the little heath toffee bits)
  • 1 1/2 cups flaked coconut (optional)

Directions:

Combine butter and condensed milk. In a separate bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, and baking power; then gradually add to the butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, toffee bits and coconut.

Drop by rounded tablespoons, 2 in apart, on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for a couple of minutes before moving to a wire rack. 2012-12-22 12.28.05

I will also say, some of these cookies were tough to get off the baking sheet, so don’t skimp when you grease up your pans. Be sure to grease up the pan between each batch, otherwise you’ll make a hot cookie mess. And if you end up with a hot cookie mess, well at least you made it from scratch and sarcasm.

Happy Baking!

I’ll Be Home for Chrismas (Cookies)

I’m one of those huge nerds when it comes to Christmas. I can’t get enough of cheesy Christmas movies, I play Christmas music as soon as Thanksgiving is over, I enjoy wrapping presents, and no Christmas is close to being complete without baking a TON of Christmas cookies.2012-12-24 15.35.05

There are certain cookies I have to bake every year, but I always like to try a few new recipes. Here is the list of what I baked this year:

  • Molasses Sugar cookies
  • Snickerdoodles
  • Peanut Blossoms
  • Toffee Chip Cookies
  • Cherry coconut cookies (which were really supposed to be cherry macaroons but didn’t quite work out.)

I always like making some sort of ginger/molasses cookie, but I haven’t found one recipe to be totally loyal to. Snickerdoodles and Peanut Blossoms are always a must. I decided to try toffee chip cookies and cherry macaroons this year. The toffee chip cookies might have to become a regular on my list, the cherry macaroons are a whole other story….

I’ve never made coconut macaroons, and when I found the cherry macaroon recipe I thought it would be perfect for Christmas (since the cherries add a little red color). Well they taste great, but I must have somehow screwed up this recipe because they look nothing like a normal macaroon. I’ve read over it ten times and I swear I measured everything right, but they just didn’t turn out the consistency you’d expect. So instead of macaroons I’m calling them cherry coconut cookies. I’ll have to find another macaroon recipe to try to master.

Anyways I’m going to post the cookies recipes later, but wanted to make sure to wish everyone a Sweet and Merry Christmas!