So, you may have heard of a man named Mike O’Brien. The man is a beer genius and that is all there is to say. He made the (first batch, circa 2008, I think) of chips’n’salsa beer that appeared on Cinco de Mayo at the Corner Brewery. He helped Jeff and me brew our anniversary beers. And he is about to brew a beer using pfeffernuesse cookies. I am honored that I will be able to help with this process.

Mike asked that we donate some pfeffernuesse cookies for the mash so of course my first question to him was, “What the fuck are pfeffernuesse cookies?” He tried to explain them but I had no clue. I searched high and low for these cookies. Whole Foods? Oh HELL no. Now they have gluten-free free-range organic ass-paste free cookies, but no pfeffernuesse. Hillers? Krogers? None that I could find. So finally I said to hell with it and decided to make them myself.

There are about a zillion recipes out there, but I had to find one that used ingredients that I had on hand. One promising recipe called for something called “cardamom”, which I was all set to buy…until I saw it was like $18 for a small thing of it. Um, no. Try again. Thanks for playing. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Rather, I found one on CD Kitchen. I had to tweak it a bit, but I think they came out pretty good:

1/3 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg, beaten
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
(it called for allspice, which I didn’t have, so instead I used ginger, pepper and white pepper)

You first put the sugar, honey, dark corn syrup and shortening in a pan and heat until the sugar and shortening melt. Let it cool and add the egg. (Be careful because the egg will actually cook if the stuff is too hot). Mix your dry ingredients and then add them to the gooey mixture. Drop onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for about 10 minutes. Then cover cookies in powdered sugar. Powdered sugar looks a lot like cocaine does (well, at least cocaine that I see on tv…never seen any IRL). I pretended that I had discovered a big cache of coke in my Domino sugar box and was going to cut it with Ajax powder and make a fortune.

I was really nervous about how these were going to look. And then I reminded myself that the cookies are going to be used as BEER MASH, not Martha f’in Stewart’s cookie baking contest. They looked passable and I started to fret but again, I’m not entering to be Mrs. Betty Crocker so who cares? I have no idea what they are supposed to taste like but they tasted okay I guess.

I can’t wait for this beer to be made and done…it’s gonna be some good beer! Watch for it at the Rat Pad Fest at the Corner on January 22!

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