This week’s cookie was a Chai Spice Cookie. The cookie is a refrigerator cookie that has a blend of cardamom, ginger, clove, cinnamon, cayenne, and black pepper. I was fairly surprised at what went into the Chai Spice blend. Anyway, the cookie according to the book, “Together at Last, Cookies & Beer,” was supposed to be paired with a Nebraska Brewing Brunette Nut Brown. The beer is supposed to enhance the spice of the cookie.
The cookie by itself was surprisingly mild. After grinding my own cardamom, I was fully expecting the cookie to be extremely spicy. I was talking with my sister about just that, and we both agree that the amount of spice to the amount of dough was a little on the light side. When I looked at the recipe, I was wondering if the spices would become more prominent by refrigerating the dough overnight. The other thing was that the dough was a little on the dry side, which means mixing at the end was a little tough. This meant that there were cookies that were spicier than others.
Enough about the cookie, and on to the pairings.
Unfortunately, the Taproom didn’t have many Brown Ales available, especially anything from Nebraska Brewing. After consulting with Sarah, the bartender, we figured that the Bold City Dukes Cold Nose would be a good place to start. This is Brown Ale that comes out of Jacksonville, Florida. The Ale is mild with a slight sweetness and comes in around 6% ABV. The cookie paired pretty well with the beer. I felt that the cookie gained some sweetness and enhanced the spice just a little. The beer seemed to gain a little roastiness from the pairing. All in all, it was a good pairing.
The cookie felt a little breakfast, so the next beer to try to be paired was the Proof Brewing Into the Dark Roast. The Into the Dark Roast is a Sweet Stout out of Tallahassee Florida, coming in at 7.9% ABV. This stout is pretty good with roasty malts and hints of coffee. Now, the pairing was interesting. Much like the Brown Ale, the sweet and the spice were enhanced. The coffee flavor of the beer was more prominent, but there were a couple of times that the beer became boozy. With the exception of the inconsistent boozy taste, the pairing was ok.
The next beer that I tried with the cookie was the Founders Breakfast Stout. I typically enjoy the Breakfast Stout by itself. But, this pairing was a little odd, in that neither the beer or cookie really affected the other. Unlike the Bold City or the Proof beers, the beer held its own and the cookie maybe was a little sweeter. There were a couple of points where the alcohol was brought front and center. This made me think that the cookie is probably best with a beer that is 6% ABV or less.
In all, the beer and cookie pairing was OK. The group is split between the Pecan Sandies and the Carrot Cake Cookie for their favorite pairing. The overall experience this past Thursday was still positive, but not as impactful as before. I’m mostly sure that the group will not select the Chai Spice Cookie for pairing night, again.
Next week will be the Almond Apricot White Chocolate Chunk Cookies. The cookie is supposed to pair with Avery Brewing’s Ellie’s Brown Ale. The book says that the pairing will make you want to dunk the cookie in the beer. I’ll report on how things go.