Wednesday, September 24, 2014

{Cookies & Beer} Oatmeal Cookies with a Grown Up Twist

On a whim, I picked up some dried tart cherries that were on clearance and thought they'd make a fun alternative to raisins for my all-time favorite cookie--oatmeal chocolate chip with raisins.

After a little first day of Fall walk with the kiddo this week, we baked up some oatmeal cookies with dark chocolate chips and chopped dried cherries (we taste-tested the combo while making them, of course). The salty, chewy, chocolaty, bitter, tart combination is right up my alley.

I also had Goat Boy, an Imperial Weizenbock on hand, and opened it up to savor with these lovelies. Almond milk for the kiddo, and we were two happy campers. Cheers!

The beer is spicy, with notes of clove and mild banana aroma. The clove gets more noticeable as the beer warms, and the beautiful reddish color of the beer is just perfect for an early Fall afternoon.

In hindsight, I'm not sure these cookies are the best pairing for this beer, but Creme Brulee or New York style cheesecake--neither of which I have the tools or know-how to make--might be the perfect pair. It didn't stop me from enjoying the thought, though. Note to self, acquire know-how for creme brulee and cheesecake.

The recipe I used was just the one on the back of the store-brand old fashioned oats we had on hand, but I've reprinted it for you below.

2 sticks of room temp. unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups uncooked oats
1 cup nuts (each chopped dried tart cherries and dark chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until edges are brown. Yield: about two dozen.

My personal tips:

1. Get two bowls--one for wet ingredients, one for dry and set them out next to everything that will go into them. After you've put the ingredients in the bowl, put them away. I'm always forgetting an ingredient, or having trouble remembering what I've already put in (moreso with the kiddo nearby than at other times--for obvious reasons).

2. Make sure you use unsalted, room temperature butter, and really whip it up good with the sugars (I use a hand mixer now, but I used to use a fork and just go to town). You'll also want to add in the eggs and vanilla and beat those together. Using salted butter is OK, but it means your cookies will just be saltier if you still use the recommended amount of added salt.

3. Make sure your baking soda or baking powder (whichever the recipe calls for) are new or newly opened. They lose their leavening power over time (which means flatter, more dense cookies than you might otherwise expect). Also, use a fork or whisk to evenly mix the dry ingredients together before combining them with wet ingredients. This makes sure your baking soda, salt and other ingredients don't all end up in 3 or 4 of your two dozen cookies.

4. A mellon baller or mini ice cream scoop (we use the latter) makes the portioning of the batter a little easier. You can also save the wrapper from your butter to grease the pan; just flip it over and smear and voila! Greased pans and not so greasy fingers.

5. Take out the cookies when the edges are just browned and let them cool on the cookies sheet. They'll look underdone, but I promise they aren't. Once cooled, the centers will be nice and chewy and the edges will be crispy and perfect. So long as you didn't forget to grease your pan before baking, they should come off fairly easily with a spatula.

Are you celebrating the cooler temps with any special baked goods? What's in your glass lately to celebrate the change of seasons?


Full Disclosure: Ingredients, beer selections, and other items shown are for illustrative purposes only. No paid endorsement, affiliation, or other agreement--unless explicitly mentioned above--exists between HEYBREWTIFUL and the brands depicted.

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