Talk about some major packing fuel. These cookies kept me sane while I was packing up our disaster of a townhouse. They’ve been gone for a while now, but I can still taste the sultry caramel, saltiness. I love sweets with a touch of salty. Sea salt and caramel are one of my favorite combinations, and I knew that I had to throw them into a cookie. The chocolate chip cookie dough base is a pretty standard cookie dough, but this time I stuffed it with a caramel square and sprinkled the cookies with coarse sea salt. The move went smoothly (kind of), if you were wondering. There is still SOO much to do, I have only just begun to go through boxes. The first week, I focused more on getting the kitchen in order, more than anything else (for obvious reasons). I should get back to a normal routine in the Cooking and Beer world here in a couple of days. It will be nice to get back to a routine. As for now, home improvement projects and trying to remember how to put together older ikea furniture has kept us rather busy! We obviously didn’t keep any of the step-by-step instructions that come with each piece of ikea furniture. Who does that, anyway!?
There are a few tidbits of information I’d like to share about this recipe before we go any further and start discussing the most awesome part of this recipe: the beer pairing.
It is VERY, VERY, VERY important that you chill the dough. The dough is soft. It will fall apart in your hands. You will get annoyed. You will scream. You will throw things. Trust me. I’ve seen it all and done it all. CHILL … THE … DOUGH. If you don’t have time to make them, wait until you do have time. It will be worth it. I promise you.
Just as it is important to chill the dough, it is equally as important to freeze the caramels. Trust me. You don’t want them in the freezer for an extended period of time, because they will never soften in the oven, but you do want them in there for at least 15 minutes. Caramels are hard to cook with. They melt easily, so if they aren’t chilled, you WILL (MOST DEFINITELY) have a mess on your hands.
Also, just as it is important to chill the caramels (are you catching a theme here?), you will want to make sure the dough is tightly packed around each caramel. Take the time to make sure this is perfect. You don’t want caramel oozing out all over the place. I also have done this, and not every cookie will come out perfectly. You will have a couple that are oozier (<-- is this even a word?) than others. This is ok. They taste just the same. Whew ... I think that is enough information on how to bake these cookies to perfection for about a decade. As always, if you have questions while you are baking them, feel free to shoot me an email/comment. I usually respond rather quickly.
Beer: Speakeasy’s Black Hand Chocolate Milk Stout
Brewed By: Speakeasy Ales and Lagers
Style: Milk / Sweet Stout
Description: I think it’s pretty obvious why I chose to pair these cookies with a chocolate milk stout. Stouts alone go hand-in-hand with sweets. Add chocolate and milk into the mix, and it’s a match made in heaven. This beer is a super solid chocolate milk stout, and it is actually quite impressive. I knew that I had to pair it with a batch of cookies. It is heavy on the cocoa, but not out-of-control. It also has an incredible chocolatey, malty aftertaste…which I just love. I highly recommend a chocolate milk stout for this pairing, and Speakeasy’s Black Hand is just perfect for the job.