The characteristic smoothness of an oatmeal stout comes from the addition of oats to the mash. If you're interested, this article gives a brief overview on the science of brewing oatmeal stout. While brewers need to understand the gelatinization, viscosity and gum content of oats, you just need a reason to make cookies with beer.
Oatmeal stout seems like a good enough excuse to stir up a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies. But how will we infuse beer into our cookies?
Raisins are slowly simmered in oatmeal stout until plump and juicy. The remaining beer is then boiled down to a syrup that adds subtle depth of flavor to the dough. Then comes the tricky part, waiting for the dough to chill. If you don't mind flat cookies, you can bake them right away. I recommend chilling the dough to limit the spread and allow the flavors to infuse. Using part butter and part butter-flavored shortening also helps limit spread. Thinking about all that butter and shortening just might help you eat a little less dough too. Well, maybe. Personally, I can't say it worked more than a few seconds.
Any dough that makes it past the bowl and into the oven, bakes into a hearty oatmeal cookie with slightly crisp edges and a soft chewy center. The beer syrup enhances the sweetness of these cookies, but don't get your hopes up for too much beer flavor. A faint hint of oatmeal stout remains in those plump, juicy raisins, but the majority of the beer flavor bakes out. I'll need to do a little more experimenting to get the beer flavor to come through. What a problem.
Oatmeal Stout Raisin Cookies
1 cup raisins
1 (12 oz) bottle oatmeal stout
3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup butter flavor all-vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups rolled oats
* In a medium saucepan combine raisins and oatmeal stout. Bring to a roiling boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Drain raisins, reserving beer; set aside.
* Return beer to saucepan and add 1/4 cup packed brown sugar. Over medium heat, boil mixture until reduced to 1/2 cup. Let cool to room temperature; set aside.
* In a large bowl cream butter, shortening, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and cooled beer syrup.
* Add flour, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine. Stir in oats and prepared raisins. Transfer dough to sealed container and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Let stand on cookie sheet 1 minute before transferring to wire cooling rack.
Food for Thought: "Free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having." -C.S. Lewis