Ales

Christmas Cookies and Winter Beer: A Sugar Buzz Awaits

December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas All!!!

Now that it is Christmas Day, you will have TONS of leftover homemade cookies for the next few days and what is a great way to GET THEM IN YOUR BELLY??  Wash them down with beer!

The holidays are that time when you…yes, even you…actually make desserts from scratch…you lazy bum.  Nothing is better than freshly made holiday cookies, cakes and pies.  Well…freshly made holiday cookies, cakes and pies that have been paired with beer!  So, I picked three beers that are super varied and three cookies that are divine right out of the oven. We all have different palates so, like most of my pairings, I pick what I like. If you happen to have a problem with an ingredient or beer or beer parent company or even the actual pairing itself…I really can’t help you.  Open your mind and try it and if you don’t like it…try it again! Make this the year you step outside of your comfort zone and try some new and different in beer and food…you’ll be pleasantly surprised…or not.

Note: I have never had any of the store-bought versions of the paired cookies below, only homemade ones, so I’m unsure how the store bought ones really rate. I’m just trying to be extra helpful for you folks that are oven-phobic.

Let’s get started!

Troegs Mad Elf

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Whooowheee!  This Belgian strong dark ale is delish!  Talk about layers of flavor! Spicy, toffee, honey, cocoa, cinnamon and cherry! Yes Cherry! Not that Jolly Rancher sweetness but a light spicy cherry sweetness. I couldn’t believe this Christmas delight was 11% alcohol!  It is boozy but more of a warmth to me than a burn.  Due to its sweetness I didn’t want to have to pair it with pure sugar, so I thought I’d go the opposite way and pair it with something a bit bitter.

Cookie Pairing:
Bitter Almond Cookies
This Italian cookie goes GREAT with coffee or sweet wine OR…Troegs Mad Elf! This cookie is fab because it is so very simple in every way.  Also, the cookie is slightly bitter and not overwhelming in sweetness or flavor but it still tasty.

Store Version For Bums:  Amaretti Balocco

Leinenkugel Cranberry Ginger Shandy

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Since the winter weather has been so mild (almost warm) this beer is perfect to drink right now. I know it is technically a winter seasonal, but it seems like it would work great as a summer beer too. It’s light, refreshing, has a bold cranberry taste with a very slight hint of ginger on the back end and some citrus and wheat notes throughout.  Because this beer is so light, I thought I’d pair it with a heavy cookie.

Cookie Pairing:
Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookie.
I like how the cranberries in both items complement each other. The cranberry taste in the beer is more authentic than you’d guess it would be. It’s more of a tart sweet instead of a fake syrupy flavor…just like dried cranberries. I’ve always thought eating these cookies was laborious because they are so dense but the fruity beer washed it down with ease.

Store Version For Bums:  Meijer

Frankenmuth Christmas Town Ale

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This American spiced ale is better on tap than in the bottle. I first drank it at the Frankenmuth brewery and thought it was tasty…in the bottle is another story. Although this may not be my super favorite Christmastime ale, it is a Michigan favorite and can convert people who are interested in Christmas beers but don’t want super flavorful meaty beer like Griffin Claws’s 3 Scrooges (yummy!)  It has hints of allspice, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, some citrus and malt.  This is your typical wintertime beer.  I feel this beer is a little lighter than advertised (medium bodied) thus my pairing below.

Cookie Pairing:
Chocolate Gingerbread Cookie
This beer goes perfect with chocolate but just a chocolate cookie was too boring for me. This chocolate gingerbread cookie has ginger and molasses and I love the combination of all of the fall/winter herbs and spices together.

Store Version For Bums:  Bahlsen (A German company)

 

Drink up! Let me know what you guys think. Also I’d love to know how the store bought versions of the cookies are.

P.S. Martha Stewart has a Chocolate Gingerbread Cookie recipe that will make you want to slap a nun. Ya know…if you are so inclined to do such a thing.

happyholidays

 

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