Guest Blog Post: Chocolate Stout Cookies with Salted Caramel Frosting & Pretzels

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My friend, Erin, and I always bake insane desserts. One year for 4th of July we made brownies with marshmallows on top and tried to dye some of them red and blue. It turned into a sticky mess. We also once made homemade whiskey infused marshmallows (without an electric mixer), where in turn we made s’mores with bacon. That was probably one of better creations.

This recipe I did not participate in much of the making, so the recipe was followed well (again- I’m not the best at following recipes). It comes from Craving Chronicles, but we adopted it to be dairy-free (please keep in mind that this recipe still uses dark chocolate and butter but if you cannot tolerate that use a substitute.)

Chocolate Stout Cookies with Salted Caramel Frosting & Pretzels

Printable Recipe
Adapted from Butter Me Up Brooklyn
Makes about 2 dozen 3-inch cookies

I used Snyder’s Butter Snaps pretzels because they’re my favorite. After trying it two different ways, I discovered it’s best to dip the frosted cookies into the crushed pretzels – that way you pick up more of the salty pretzel flavor on the cookies.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon dark cocoa (such as Hershey’s Dark Cocoa)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (Earth Balance has dairy free butter)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
6 ounces stout beer (we used Anderson Valley Bourbon Barrel Stout)
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

1 batch Easy Salted Caramel Frosting (below)
1 bag of salted pretzels

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powders, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

Beat butter with sugars with a mixer using the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and egg and beat to combine. With the mixer on low, add flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the beer. Beat just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula.

photo 1 (2)

Chill dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes, or until firm enough to scoop.

Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350°F for 15-17 minutes or until tops spring back lightly when touched. Cool on pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire wrack to cool completely.

To Assemble
Crush pretzels into small pieces in a plastic storage bag using your hands, or with a food processor. Spread pretzel crumbs out in a pie plate or on a small baking sheet.

photo 2 (1)

Only frost cookies once they have cooled completely. Working with warm frosting still in the pan, spread frosting on a few cookies at a time. Dip each cookie frosting side down in the pretzel crumbs, pushing lightly to make sure they stick. Frosting will dry as it cools, so work with only a few cookies for best results.


Easy Salted Caramel Frosting

Printable Recipe
Adapted from Betty Crocker

The trick with this frosting is to not add too much powdered sugar or it will be thick, stiff, and too sweet. Add only as much as you need to make it spreadable without being runny. Leave the frosting in the warm pan as you frost the cookies to make it easier to spread. It will set up as it cools.

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
pinch of salt
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream (you can also use a dairy-free milk or cream alternative)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup + up to 4 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions

In a medium saucepan, melt butter, salt and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil unstirred for 1-2 minutes.

Remove from heat and immediately whisk in cream. (Careful! Hot caramel may spatter.) Whisk in vanilla. Cool 5-10 minutes, then stir in 1 cup powdered sugar. Whisk briskly to smooth out any lumps. If needed, add powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time (up to 4 tablespoons), whisking briskly between each addition, until frosting is firm enough that the whisk tracks don’t sink all the way back into the frosting.

Spread frosting over cooled cookies. (See instructions above.)

photo 3 (1)

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