These cookies were expensive! Let’s start with the fact that the recipe called for 1/3 cup American brown ale, which I don’t drink. I’m not even a beer person, so these cookies were a treat for my P.S. (Princely Spouse). Then when we stopped at the liquor store to buy ale, I could only get it in a 6 pack, for $11.99. That’s a bit crazy for 12 cookies. I’d have tripled the recipe had I known.
Yep, this recipe makes 12 cookies, the blogger said. I didn’t notice THAT fact until wayyyy later. Shortly after that I discovered the recipe also called for 1 cup of bread flour. Yes, 1 lousy cup of a special flour. I don’t bake bread so I don’t stock bread flour. I mentioned it to my blogger friend Julie, when we met for lunch and she insisted on giving me her bag of bread flour. She said she had needed it for a recipe and the rest was going to be wasted. I was happy to take it off of her hands. Now I have to figure out what to do with the rest of the bag!
So my cousin Shirley and I were doing some cookie baking right before Christmas and we made these chewy brown sugar ale cookies. We both loved the flavors but they looked nothing like the blogger’s pictures. They were the exact opposite. But we’ll get to that later. I did have unsalted butter and followed the directions and ingredients exactly. I usually do on baking sweets, the recipes need to be precise.
I beat the butter and brown sugar in my stand mixer until well combined. I added the egg yolk and vanilla and again beat it until it was light and fluffy. I added the ale and beat it until it was well mixed.
I whisked the dry ingredients together then sprinkled them over the wet ingredients and stirred until they were just integrated, per directions. There’s not much else to do from there besides scoop!
The directions said to scoop into balls almost the size of a golf ball. Shirley and my idea of golf balls must have differed severely from the blogger’s, since we ended up with 40 “golf balls”. I then noticed the recipe said it made 12 cookies. What?!? Too late, I’d rolled them in sugar and they were ready on parchment paper covered baking sheets.
I put the sheets into the fridge to cool and they were in there slightly longer than the 20 minutes suggested. So coldness wasn’t the reason why mine didn’t look the same. But I have to wonder.. the original larger sized cookies spread and were huge, shouldn’t the smaller ones have spread even more? Mine did not. They were high, puffy cookies that didn’t deflate as they cooled. They stayed puffy.
As I said, they were delicious, but I’d imagined a cookie with “chewy” in the name would be just that. The flat, spread ones in the blogger’s picture would have been crispy around the edges, chewy in the center. Mine were just… chewable. Not chewy. They dissolved easily in our mouths, not much chewing necessary. So very puzzling.
Everyone loved the cookies. I didn’t explain that they weren’t what I’d hoped they would be. They liked them as they were and that was good enough for now. Some day soon I’m going to make them again and see if I can replicate the blogger’s cookies. I used 1/3 a cup of ale and put the rest into a bottle and screwed it on tight. I’m going to start with using that ale. Maybe I’ll use another bottle for another attempt if necessary.
The one good outcome of my costly cookie ingredients is that my P.S. does like ale and volunteered to drink the remainder of the bottles. I asked him to reserve me one more bottle, but he’s welcome to the rest!
Oh and one more laugh: later I mentioned to my P.S. that I’d chosen not to roll the cookie balls in turbinado sugar before baking, to skip that extra cost. He snickered and said we had some, on the top shelf of the baking cupboard. Drat. Being 5 feet even, I never know what’s up there. I should have looked. Oh well, I will use it with my next attempt.
Chewy Brown Sugar Brown Ale Cookies
A chewy brown sugar and cinnamon cookie with ale!
- 3/4 cups unsalted butter; softened, not melted (12 tablespoons)
- 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup American brown ale
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 cup bread flour (for a chewier cookie; can use regular flour but not as chewy)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- raw turbinado sugar, for rolling *optional* (I used regular white sugar with good results)
In a separate bowl, whisk flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cornstarch and cinnamon.
Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
Scoop balls almost the size of a golf ball with a cookie scoop. Roll into raw turbinado sugar to coat, then place on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper or a silpat.
Chill cookies in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to prevent spreading while baking.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown (for a puffier cookie bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes).
Remove cookies on parchment paper to counter and cool. Store in airtight container.
Adapted from Erin’s Food Files