Every year, my Christmas cookie baking gets a little out of hand. Maybe even more than a little, but I think that’s open to interpretation. I typically focus my energies on making hundreds of my Great Grandmother’s empire biscuits, but this year I branched out a bit and decided, in a totally unsurprising turn of events, to incorporate beer.
There was plenty of baking to be done, between the cookie swap happening at my apartment on Sunday and the Chocolate Stout Cake I promised to bring to my work holiday party on Monday – Saturday was a day spent in the kitchen!
I’m a bit sentimental when it comes to holiday baking, hence the empire biscuits, and wanted to try one of my mom’s recipes with a twist of my own. After a quick check of the recipe book she gave me for Christmas when I first moved to New York City, I decided on Ginger Snaps. They had always been a favorite of my dad’s and I remembered them being relatively simple (of course this is based on the memory of a 5-year-old since that was the last time I made them!). But how to modernize these? And what to do with the 10 ounces of Boatswain Chocolate Stout (sometimes you just grab what they have at Trader Joe’s and it bakes up beautifully!) I have left from making the cake?
By substituting some of the molasses called for in the recipe with a stout reduction! I found that it mellowed the sweetness a bit in a way that I didn’t mind, especially given that these cookies are coated in sugar before baking, there was some sweetness to spare:
Over high heat, reduce 10 oz of dark beer (stout or porter) to 2 Tbsp in a small sauce pan
With a mixer, cream together until fluffy:
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- Beer reduction
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg beaten fluffy
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves.
Gradually add dry ingredients into wet
Form into 1″ balls with the dough, roll each in granulated sugar and bake on parchment paper for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
Makes about 4 dozen