As I said last week, the cookie du jour is the Almond Apricot White Chocolate Chunk cookie. The cookie is a fairly simple cookie to make, with the exception of finding a store that keeps Almond Paste in stock. It surprised me how hard it is to find store bought Almond Paste. In the end, I decided to make my own. My kitchen is pretty decked out and making something like that isn’t too hard with the tools that I have. One of the challenges with the cookie is the number of cookies it makes. The recipe says it makes 15 4oz cookies, but I managed to get 30 2oz cookies out of it. That’s not a whole lot to share, especially for my group of fellow beer enthusiasts.
So, according to the Cookies and Beer pairing book, the cookie is supposed to be paired with Avery Brewing’s Ellie’s Brown Ale. The Ale is supposed to have a sweet nutty flavor that aligns itself with the beer. The book comes just short of saying that the flavors should meld in a harmonious mixture, making the beer and cookie more enjoyable. Alas, the Taproom didn’t have Ellie’s Brown Ale on hand, so we had to find a suitable replacement.
Much like last week’s pairing, I started with the Bold City Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale. Bold City is out of Jacksonville and makes a pretty fair beer. It happened that this beer was #2 on the menu, so why not start there. The Cold Nose Brown Ale is a pretty mild Brown Ale, a hint of dark roast, mildly sweet, a note of nuttiness. The cookie seemed to bring out the darker notes in the beer, almost making the beer coffee like. On the other hand, the beer seemed to enhance the sweetness of the cookie and made the white chocolate pop a bit more. Overall, the pairing was pretty good.
The next beer that I tried was the Coastal Empire Savannah Brown. Coastal Empire is out of Savannah Georgia. I can’t say that I have had a Coastal Empire beer, before. Overall, the beer is a solid Brown Ale by itself. It had a lot of flavors which you associate with a Brown Ale, including dark malt, nuttiness, and a bit of caramel. With the cookie, the beer became sweeter, bringing out the caramel notes. For the cookie, it seemed to emphasize the apricot and a toastiness of baked goods. I think that I enjoyed this pairing quite a bit more than the Duke’s.
Like I said, the cookie was absurdly large, and if I had followed the recipe, it would have been even larger. With the size of the cookie, it was hard to justify more than two cookies, so I don’t have any more pairings to write about. However, I tried a beer, that I thought was noteworthy enough to write about. It was the Southern Tier Crème Brulee Imperial Milk Stout. Southern Tier is out of New York, and is a brewer that I tend to like. The Crème Brulee is dark and sweet and vanilla and tastes very much like a dessert. It was surprising at how much it resembled its name sake. I enjoyed it, but I think I can only drink only one 10oz glass in a sitting. It’s something that you end the night on. I went back that weekend and tried it with a cold brew coffee (80% coffee and 20% beer), and it made a nice coffee additive. I would say overall it was good.
In all, the cookie was a big hit. Of the 5 cookies that I have made for Beer Pairings, the favorites are this one (Almond Apricot White Chocolate Chunk) and the Bacon Pecan Sandies. The cookie was outstanding by itself, however, with the pairing of the Savannah Brown, I think the cookie and beer were made better. It’s definitely a cookie that I will be saving the recipe for.