Ah the classic comfort of cookies and … a good beer. In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger: “milk is for babies, when you grow up you have to drink beer.” And with that, I suppose I should start from the beginning …
I am always in search of good recipes from local restaurants. And Maura Kilpatrick, pastry chef of Oleana and Sofra Bakery and Cafe, has yet to let me down. Consequently, her spicy molasses cookies are perfection. They are crispy and chewy, with enough spice to remind you that the molasses cookie is a cookie that means business.
I'm quite serious when it comes to molasses. I like to use blackstrap; it’s earthy and slightly bitter. It's also a good source of iron. (Try to rationalize yourself out of a cookie that will make you stronger the more you eat it: I dare you.) Perhaps it’s the 80 year-old woman in me, but I love molasses cookies; they seem equal parts medicinal and decadent. But whereas grandma might pour you a nice glass of milk to wash yours down, I’ll offer up beer instead.
It may sound like an odd combination but these spicy, saucy little numbers can take the booze. And while I don’t tend to keep gallons of milk in my fridge, I do keep beer. And I did have a growler of Harpoon UFO in there. (A gal’s gotta have a port in the storm.) So Sunday I took my—not for the meek—molasses cookies and my handle of beer and headed off to a Super Bowl party. (When you are up against hot wings, you really have to bring it.) The citrusy orange notes in the UFO worked off the spices in the cookie. As did the fruitiness of the Magic Hat #9, that followed.
I thought I was really on to something. It turns out, this combination of beer and molasses is not a new one. The sticky stuff actually landed itself in George Washington's beer making recipe. Our first President was really on to something, apparently.
So, will I go out on a ledge and say that beer compliments molasses cookies better than milk? Yes, I think I will. Especially, if I am in the company of one beer-swilling Washington. This is a grownup molasses cookie that needs something adult to hang with. This is a cookie with personality, perhaps the Schwarzenegger of cookies. They are not to be missed. You might even find yourself echoing, “I’ll be back.” Especially, if there is a good beer involved.