Christmas Ale Recipes Christmas Ale Recipes
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Chocolate Spice Christmas Ale Cookies

by Ann LoParo, owner of Annie’s Signature Sweets
“The molasses and honey bring a smooth richness to the cookie, while the cinnamon and ginger give it a little bit of spice and heat,” says Ann LoParo. “The richness and spice are perfect for colder months.” 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 degrees if using a convection oven). Melt 1/2 stick unsalted butter and 12 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely, (or 2 cups mini chocolate chips) in a microwave-safe bowl or double boiler, being careful not to burn the chocolate. If using the microwave, start at 60 seconds and add 30 additional seconds as needed until fully melted.

Set aside. In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, 3 large eggs, 1 tablespoon honey and 1/4 cup Christmas Ale, and mix until fully incorporated. Add 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, and mix until fully combined. Carefully stir in melted chocolate until fully combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes before scooping and baking. Scoop with a 1/4 cup measuring cup or cookie scoop and leave at least 3 inches in between each cookie. Bake for approximately 10-14 minutes. Cool completely. 


Christmas Ale Drop Cookies

by Ryan Matthew Boone, chef/owner of FatBoy Sammies
Ryan Matthew Boone’s take on the Christmas Ale cookie takes everything into consideration — the spices and the carbonation. “I built this recipe around showcasing the interesting sweetness and spice of Christmas Ale, as well as highlighting the malty toasty notes a great craft beer brings to baking,” he says. 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine 2 bottles or cans of Christmas Ale and 1/4 cup honey in a saucepan. Reduce on medium/low until 1/3 of the liquid, or about 1 cup, remains. (This takes around 30 minutes.) Let cool to room temperature. With a mixer, cream 1-1/2 sticks unsalted, room temperature butter, cubed, 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed, on high. When creamed, add 1 egg and a dash of vanilla, and mix on high. Scrape sides and mix again. In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups flour, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, 1/8 teaspoon cloves, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add half of your dry mix to your creamed wet mix while your mixer is on low. Incorporate until smooth. Add in your Christmas Ale syrup. Mix evenly. Then add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Mix in 1 cup white chocolate chips (optional). Let dough chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. The dough will seem looser than traditional cookie dough. Drop golfball-sized scoops onto parchment-lined baking trays and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.


Natasha’s Christmas Ale Cookies

by Natasha Pogrebinsky, executive chef at The South Side and Hi & Dry
“The sweet notes in the ale add another layer, a subtle sweetness that is more complex than just sugar,” says Natasha Pogrebinsky. “Hints of bitterness that are natural in beer help balance the flavors. A well-balanced cookie makes it easier to eat more of!”

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Chop 3 cups pecans into 1⁄4-inch pieces, place in a mixing bowl and spray with pan spray. Fold in 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning. Place the nuts on a sheet tray, spread out in a single layer, and toast 10 minutes in the oven. Remove and set aside to cool. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 8 tablespoons unsalted, softened butter and 1 cup brown sugar, beat on medium speed until creamy. Add 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla); continue to beat on medium speed. Add 1/4 cup Christmas Ale and beat until well-combined. Add 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 2 cups all-purpose flour and 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch to the mixer. Beat until combined. Fold in 1⁄2 of the spiced nuts and let the dough sit for 3 minutes to rest. Scoop out 1-inch balls of dough onto baking sheets lined with lightly greased parchment paper. Place each dough ball about 1-1/2 inches apart. Chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. In a medium saucepan, combine 1⁄2 cup Christmas Ale and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Bring to a boil while stirring and reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer on medium heat while stirring until the reduction becomes smooth and thick, like molasses. Set aside. 

To make frosting, beat together 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup unsalted, softened butter, 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon reduced Christmas Ale mixture, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup until creamy and smooth. Frost cooled cookies and sprinkle with remaining spiced nuts. 

Great Lakes Brined Pork Shoulder with Crispy Shallots and Scallions Parsnip Puree

by Rocco Whalen, chef/owner of Fahrenheit
This recipe starts with a "real rub" Rocco Whalen's family has used for years. “To complete the layers of flavor, we add citrus [from the ale] and crispy textured onions,” he says. “The notes of cinnamon, clove and other spices really help the fatty braised pork shoulder show off. A nice velvet-type parsnip puree with a little acid to finish is all we need.”

Twenty-four hours before cooking, season all parts of trimmed 3-1/2-pound pork butt (or shoulder) with 1 tablespoon salt, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 4 chopped garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon high-quality olive oil. After 24 hours, sear all sides of pork to caramelize and lock in flavors, then place in slow cooker or Dutch oven. Add 3 cans or bottles of Christmas Ale, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star of anise, 2 bay leaves, 1 bottle of water, 2 onions (slivered or julienned) and 1/2 bunch of thyme. Turn temperature on high, bring to a boil, reduce to medium, cover and simmer till fork-tender, approximately 3 hours at 350 degrees.  

Parsnip Puree: On low heat, bring a pan of water to a soft rolling boil. Cook 6 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped, until fork-tender. Remove from heat and drain water. Add 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup chicken stock, 1/2 cup Cloister honey. Puree, then add salt and pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to finish. 

Crispy Shallots and Scallions: To add texture and crunch, crispy-fry 3 or 4 julienned shallots and scallions in peanut oil at 350 degrees for about 40 seconds (or just sprinkle some Funyuns or crispy onions from a can). To serve, pull meat and serve over puree. Top with shallots, onions and remaining jus.

Christmas Ale Beer Bread

by Ginius Macys, owner and master baker, at Breadsmith
"Beer and bread are really the same thing," Ginius Macys explains. “It’s the same chemical process. Bread is just solid beer and beer is liquid bread. So mixing beer into the process is a no-brainer. The spices in Christmas Ale really do a great job of enhancing the flavor of the rye, making it stand out. The rye absorbs the ale up quite well, and then the flavoring comes out through the rye and the oats.”

This recipe requires 24 hours. 

In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons bread flour, 1/2 cup Christmas Ale, 1 cup + 3 tablespoons rye flour (dark or medium, or may substitute whole wheat), 1/2 cup sourdough starter. (Note: King Arthur has a sourdough starter kit available through its website.) Mix thoroughly and cover bowl with plastic and keep on counter overnight. This mixture is called a levain. In a separate bowl, combine 6 cups rolled oats and 1/2 cup Christmas Ale. Cover and keep on counter overnight. Combine soaked oats and levain. Add 4 1/2 cups + 3 1/2 tablespoons bread flour, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 cup + 1 generous teaspoon rye flour, and 1 cup + 1 tablespoon water. Mix using a strong mixer that has a dough hook, or knead by hand. While mixing/kneading, add generous 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast and 2 1/4 teaspoons salt to thoroughly mix in dough. Mix/knead till dough comes together in a ball. Place dough in a bowl, cover with canvas or plastic and set it aside (room temp). The dough will need to proof for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or when dough doubles in size. Preheat oven to 425 to 450 degrees. Cut and shape loaves into 2-pound loaves and place on well-greased cookie sheet or bread pans. Cover and allow dough to rest for about a half hour. Score (cut) 3 or 4 diagonal lines to allow dough to expand in oven. Place in oven. Baking times vary with ovens. Bake till crust gets to a light- to medium-brown color. Remove from oven. Let bread rest for about an hour. 

Makes 3 loaves (2 pounds each).

Christmas Ale Beer-battered Onion Rings

by Jarrett Mines, personal chef/owner of Filter
"I've made sure we get that full essence of the ale in the flavor,” says Jarrett Mines. “Christmas Ale is so huge here, and I wanted to make sure people can get that same razzle-dazzle.” 

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup corn starch, 2 teaspoons paprika, 3 teaspoons onion powder, 4 teaspoons cayenne pepper, 3 teaspoons garlic powder, 4 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons pepper. Whisk in 12 ounces Christmas Ale until the mixture is combined well. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. While the batter rests, cut the tip off of the stem side of 2 large yellow or Vidalia onions and then remove the peel. Slice the onions horizontally into 1/2-inch-thick rings and toss them with 1/2 cup all-purpose flour. Pour vegetable oil (preferably peanut oil) in a large pot to a depth of 2 inches and heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 375 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches, dip the onion rings into the prepared batter, shaking off any excess, then immediately drop them into the hot oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot. Allow the onions to cook to an even browning, about 3 minutes. Remove the onions and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate. Immediately season with salt to taste. Repeat the coating and frying process, returning the oil to 375 degrees  between batches, with the remaining onions. For extra-crispy onion rings, repeat the batter process.

Santa Bomb

by Ryan Krivosh, owner of Around the Corner Saloon & Cafe
Ryan Krivosh created this now-legendary drink over a decade ago. It draws on the flavors and the color of Christmas Ale to make a beverage that’s a real celebration. “When you drop [the shot glass] in, the green shot mixes with the Christmas Ale into a milky, glittery cloud,” he says, referring to the gold-flecked Goldschlager. “You’re supposed to drink it — not super-fast, but as fast as you can. All the Christmas Ale flavors, the spicy peppermint of the Goldschlager, creamy Bailey’s and minty creme de menthe, it’s all Christmas flavors. It’s Christmas in your mouth.”

In a 1-1/2 ounce shot glass, combine 1/3 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream, 1/3 ounce green creme de menthe and 1/3 ounce Goldschlager. Fill a 1/2 pint glass with Christmas Ale. Drop the shot glass, upright (glass and all) into the beer. 

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