Food + Drink : Cookies Made For Beer
Not made with beer, but made to enjoy alongside beer, these are the result of playing with the "Salty Pretzel" recipe in a book I've really been enjoying, Chocolate Chip Cookies: Dozens of Recipes for Reinterpreted Favorites, by Carey Jones & Robyn Lenzi. The brilliance of their recipe is the use of pulverized as well as chopped up pretzels.
I've added whole wheat flour, butterscotch chips, and dark molasses and also played with time and temp of baking. You should absolutely buy the book, though, and work your way through it. If you want to screw around with what you find there I also recommend looking at the cookie section of Mark Bittman's How To Bake Everything. There you'll find helpful directions for tweaking any cookie recipe.
85 grams [1.75 cups] pretzels, pulverized to powder in a food processor
30 grams [0.25 cup] whole wheat flour
95 grams [0.75 cup] all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Ovaltine or Horlicks malted drink powder, plain not cocoa
0.5 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Those are your dry ingredients. Whisk them together in a bowl and set aside.
170 grams [0.75 cup or 1.5 sticks] butter, room temperature
130 grams [0.66 cup] regular sugar
130 grams [0.66 cup]dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon dark molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Thats the wet stuff. Cream all that together in another bowl.
A stand mixer makes quick work of this, medium speed, about a minute.
The dry stuff goes into the wet stuff. Mix until they're just incorporated and not a jot further.
Using your stand mixer, that'd be low speed, a minute or less.
Now the add-ins.
35 grams [0.5 cup] chocolate chips, I prefer dark chocolate to balance the
35 grams [0.5 cup] butterscotch chips
100 grams [2 cups] pretzel bits & pieces, broken up or chopped by hand or pulsed in the food processor
Mix those into your dough.
You can drop these by the tablespoonful onto parchment or Silpat-lined baking pans or roll them up and slice them make a larger cookie. In either case, I advise sprinkling a little coarse salt on top before you bake them. Trust me.
The original recipe calls for a 325º oven and a 9-11 minute baking time. This gives you a softer cookie, which can be nice as it lets the pretzel bits stand out. I've also baked these at 375º for 15 minutes which produces a cookie that, when completely cooled, is crunchier and stands up better to transport—say in your backpack or your pockets while out on a hike.
Mmmmmmmm. HIking cookies.
But, the very, very best way to enjoy these—chewy or crunchy, warm or room temp—is with a nice, cold beer.
The curiosity, enthusiasm, and good taste I bring to my baking I also bring to my coaching.
Don't believe me? Find out for yourself.
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Christopher Gurr is an American theatre artist and educator known for playing a wide range of roles on Broadway and across the U.S. as well as the more readily accessible reaches of Canada.
Native Southerner, Midwest educated, with chapters in Northern California and southern Appalachia he currently makes his home in New York City.