My friend Tom, was having a birthday party and I was trying to decide what to bring. When I think of Tom, I think Dark Beer, Dark Coffee and Dark Chocolate. How could I turn that into a baking project?
I decided to make cookie that eats more like a brownie, and to try and flavor them with dark beer, dark coffee and dark chocolate. What would be the best way to concentrate those flavors and add them to a cookie?
A Reduction! So, this baking project turned into two different experiments, both of which turned out quite well. Experiment 1: Make a coffee and a beer reduction. Experiment 2: Make gluten free brownie cookies that taste good and have beer, coffee and chocolate.
The Reduction. I decided to just cook down some Oatmeal Stout in one pot and some Dark Coffee in another pot. I cooked them for about an 30-40 minutes on medium heat until most of the water had evaporated. Then, I turned it to low for about 15-20 minutes and let it cook until it was a very thick syrup. The resulting flavor was quite strong, pretty bitter and intense. I thought the beer tasted pretty good on its own, I can imagine it being a tasty syrup on vanilla or chocolate ice cream. The texture is like a thick molasses. I probably could have stopped the cooking earlier, but honestly the last bit goes really fast and I sort of missed it.
I made a short video of the process. Unfortunately, I didn’t get great footage on this, but you still get the idea.
The Cookies. I used this brownie cookie recipe for inspiration, although I changed almost everything about it. https://preppykitchen.com/brownie-cookies/ For starters, I made it gluten free because Tom’s wife is trying to eat less gluten. I realize the beer is not gluten free, but oh well, you can’t get everything! My flours consisted of gluten free oat flour, almond flour and tapioca flour. I replaced the cocoa powder with more of the flour blend. I used the recommended amounts of butter, egg and sugar.
I found that the mix was very soft, not having enough flour. I did chill the dough for a while to see if that would help, but as you can see in the video below, it was a mess. I was able to fix the dough by adding more oat flour, even after it had been mixed and chilled! One benefit of gluten free baking is that you don’t have to worry about the gluten developing. 🙂
Anyway, after the epic fail, I saved the cookies and they turned out great. So, how do they taste?
The beer cookie has a subtle malty flavor. You can definitley taste it but you might not be able to identify it if you didn’t know what it was. It does go well with the chocolate chips. The coffee cookie has a very identifyable coffee flavor which tastes great with the chocolate. The texture is perfect, very much like a brownie in a cookie form.
Overall, I think it was quite a success! And it was a fun and unique thing to bring to the party.