Thursday, May 19, 2016

Beer and Cookie Pairing with Jonathan Bender

On a chilly February evening in Kansas City, I celebrated my brother's 40th birthday at a brewery. That night I was introduced to one of his friends, Jonathan Bender, who wrote for one of my favorite foodie magazines. He told us he was in the middle of writing about a book about pairing beer and cookies.

Beer and cookies?!??!?! What?!?!?! I think I actually said that out loud.

Fast forward to a year later while hanging out at Larder & Cupboard, Cindy announces that THE Jonathan Bender would be coming to the store to sign books and...you guessed it...pair local beers with freshly made cookies!

I immediately cleared my schedule.

Let's just say that pairing beer and cookies together is a wonderful invention and I gave Jonathan Bender a few hugs that night. Mostly because it was so nice to see him again and not just because he inspired one of the best classes thus far at the store.

In addition to "Cookies & Beer", Jonathan has also written a "stock and broth" themed book. Not only are there instructions for the stocks, but also soup recipes that you can cook from the stocks.

We kicked off the pairings that night  by keeping it light with a Snickerdoodle and an Old Bakery Citrus Wheat. It's rare that I like a cookie that doesn't have chocolate in it, but this cookie was so light and sweet.

Snickerdoodle with Old Bakery Citrus Wheat
Another happy surprise for me was Nana's Molasses cookies with a Piney River Bronzeback Pale Ale. This combination just reminded me of Christmas all the way around with the ginger in the cookie and the bubbles in the beer.

Nana's Molasses with Piney River Bronzeback Pale Ale
The next pairing was definitely all about breakfast since a Maple Toasted Oatmeal Cookie was paired with Charleville Karate Kicks Coffee. These heavier cookies were able to stand up to the beers easily without one overpowering the other.

Maple Toasted Oatmeal with Charleville Karate Kicks Coffee Stout
The last two pairings were full flavor though...

Pastry Chef Anne Croy brought her Rye IPA Apricot Crumble Bars (yes...beer was IN the bar), and of course paired with the same 4 Hands Divided Sky Rye IPA. You really needed that big, heavy fruit flavor to take on the hoppy taste of the beer.

Rye IPA Apricot Crumble Baras with 4 Hands Divided Sky Rye IPA
The best pairing was definitely saved for last as Chef Amy's Chocolate Chip cookie was paired with Boulevard Brewing Company's Bourbon Barrel Quad. Ok...I admit the beer was quite intense and probably a bit too strong for me, but those cookies were to die for!

Check out those huge chocolate chunks!! They were acutally Kakao's chocolate buttons!!! You'll never want to use regular chocolate chips again!

Chef Amy's Chocolate Chip with Boulevard Brewing Company's Bourbon Barrel Quad
Both books make excellent gifts... these scored points for me at Mother's Day!

Books by Jonathan Bender
And I got mine signed...

Jonathan Bender signing my books!
Let's hope Jonathan writes more books so he can come back to St. Louis and share some yummy treats again!

Resources:

Larder & Cupboard = http://www.larderandcupboard.com/

Kakao Chocolate = http://www.kakaochocolate.com/

Cookies & Beer by Jonathan Bender = http://www.amazon.com/Cookies-Beer-Bake-Pair-Enjoy/dp/1449470882/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Stock, Broth & Bowl = http://www.amazon.com/Stock-Broth-Bowl-Drinking-Nourishing/dp/1449472664/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8