I have a confession to make; I’m not a good cook. My husband will be the first to tell you, if it weren’t for him, we would starve… or at the very least, live on a diet that consists mainly of charcuterie, aged cheese, and the occasional burrito. So when a request for Christmas cookies came, I knew I needed to reach out to my old friend, The Internet, for guidance… Chocolate crinkle cookies have been a holiday favorite of mine since I was a kid. My mom would make them every year and I was always intrigued by the way the sugared top would crack, revealing the dark chocolate cookie inside… and they taste freaking awesome. So when I came across Jackie Dodd’s recipe for Chocolate Stout Crinkle Cookies on her site, The Beeroness, I knew I had found something special.
If you’re ready to make these for yourself, head to Jackie’s site for the recipe. But if you’re an insecure baker like me (is that what it’s supposed to look like?), here are some tips to let you know you’re doing things right… or at least to make you feel better about your own abilities in the kitchen!
First things first, gather your ingredients. If you’re like me, that means at the grocery store… so here’s your shopping list.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 12 ounces good quality dark chocolate (60% cocao)
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup Chocolate Stout
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup powdered sugar
Now that you’re back from your second trip to the store (because you thought you had eggs but you didn’t), you’re ready to make cookies! Get a bowl and throw in your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, espresso, and granulated sugar), mix it up and set it aside for later.
Next, chop up your chocolate and put it in a microwave safe bowl, along with your eggs and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. You’re gonna melt this in the microwave, 20 seconds at a time, so the smaller your chop your chocolate, the quicker the melting will happen. But don’t take it to extremes—I see you over there mincing your chocolate into tiny crumbs… no one like a smart ass.
When your chocolate’s all melted and looking good, add the beer. Now, you’re probably noticing about now that the recipe calls for only 1/2 cup of delicious velvety smooth chocolate stout, which means you’re left with 2/3 of a 12 oz. beer or, in my case, a solid 14.5 ounces of Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout… Well done, my friend. I trust that you’ll find a suitable use for that leftover beer. (Cheers!)
Now that you’ve got a beer in your hand, you might not care that much about the rest of the recipe, but we’re about to take a break so stay with me for a few more minutes. Next, add the eggs, stir, then add the dry ingredients, and stir again until it’s all mixed together. Mine was the consistency of brownie batter at this point… I have no idea if that’s how it’s supposed to look or not. For now, cover the bowl with saran wrap, put it in the fridge, and enjoy your beer.
…1 million hours later…
Ok, now that the dough is set, we’re ready to finish these damn things. Preheat your oven to 350°. My stove is so old that the numbers have worn off the temperature knob, so if that goes for you too, just eyeball it. Next, pour some powdered sugar in a bowl. Then, using a cookie dough scoop or whatever ya got (in my case, a spoon worked just fine), make balls and roll into shape with your hands. (This part got a little messy… I found that dipping my fingers in water periodically helped keep the dough from sticking to my hands.) Drop the dough balls into the powdered sugar and roll ’em around until they’re well coated. Now, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place cookie balls a few inches apart. Bake cookies at 350° for 10 minutes or so—until the edges have set but the center is still a bit soft. Jackie’s recipe warns not to over-bake or the cookies will be dry and crumbly.
Now, the moment of truth. I pulled my cookies out, questioning whether or not they were done enough… as I do every time I bake anything. After letting them cool on the baking sheet for a couple minutes I transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely. After an hour or so, the cookies were still so soft that they were practically melting as soon as you put one in your mouth. I thought for sure that I had done something wrong… forgotten an ingredient, under-cooked them, they just didn’t seem right. I went to bed feeling like a failure, racks of cookies still on the kitchen counter.
Amazingly, when I awoke the next morning, they had set! They were firm but not too hard or crunchy… similar to the consistency of a brownie… and they were delicious! It was a success!! I baked cookies, using craft beer, and they were edible!
So there you have it, the tale of how I baked with beer and came out victorious.