Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beer Crispy Treats

This month we've collected recipes for food made with or made to pair with our fall seasonal, Autumn Maple.  Today's comes from Nomnivorous!  Read below and check out their blog for some incredibly delicious food articles!

My brother wanted to stir the chickpeas. Oh, of course he did. But in the midst of the magical father-son moment, the chickpeas went a little crazy. The molten foam splattered, my brother’s arm being the first spot of attack. It was a bad burn, and my brother was no longer curious and happy. [This is my now chef brother. Whose arms are now covered in burns and cuts after a few years in the business. Who would've guessed?]

I still remember the scene. It was the evening, because my father was home and cooking for the market. There was a giant pot of chickpeas on the back eye, simmering from dry, crunchy pellets to creamy goodness that would turn into hummus the next day. Chickpeas are easy, yet temperamental to cook. For the best flavor, simmer; don’t let them boil or they will foam and spew like a rabid dog. My mischievous baby brother, young enough to sit on my father’s shoulders, wanted to see what was happening up there, on the stove he couldn’t yet see. My dad picked him up, put him on his shoulders, and let him carefully peer at the steaming pots on the stove. [If it was a normal night, two or three things were cooking, at the least.]

This is one of the first scenes in the kitchen that I remember. I wasn’t the one curiously trying to watch my father’s bubbling cauldrons. But I remember it well. My mother, already a concerned parent, tended towards the extremes in keeping us safe, and the chickpea incident heightened her safety alert. So while my friends might have memories of helping chop onions, or stir pots, my mother kept us away from the knife block and stove eyes for the most part.
But one of the dishes I do vividly remember playing assistant on were Rice Krispies Treats. Since the kids were usually the ones begging for dessert, those were the times my mother would recruit a helper. I would measure the everything out. In our largest pot, I would add the butter and marshmallows. Mom would turn the stove on low, and I would get to stir occasionally. Once the butter and marshmallows were just melted enough, Mom would move the pot to a cool eye, and I could add the cereal. Stir, stir, stir and then, get messy! Pour the cereal mixture into a pan and squish down. Now go wash your hands and let them cool for a few minutes, my mother would shoo me out of the kitchen.

It required two dishes, three ingredients, no oven to turn on and very little cooling time for kids to nag her about, so Rice Krispies treats were one of my mother’s favorite desserts to make. And they’re absolutely one of my favorite desserts to eat. The simple, gooey, glorious delight is hard to beat. But ever since I sunk my teeth into salted brown butter crispy treats over a year ago [made by Autumn for a BK Swappers event], I’ve yearned to update the treat. What follows definitely takes more than two bowls, but I consider it a heavenly marriage of nostalgia and adulthood.
I was presented with an opportunity to develop a recipe featuring The Bruery’s Autumn Maple beer and my sweet tooth took over. When I received the two bottles of this seasonal brew, I chilled them and then took a taste. The spices were present, but thankfully the beer does not taste like pumpkin pie spice (ahem, like many autumnal beers). This California craft brewery has a keeper of a beer – it is bold and rich, but not heavy like Guinness. In-your-face dark beers sometimes overwhelm me, but there is a smooth sweetness to Autumn Maple that makes it incredibly drinkable. The spicy base had my brain spinning with dessert ideas. I wanted to stretch the beer flavor into many components, highlighting the beer in different forms but also building the layers of beer flavors across one bite. That bite would be The Bruery beer crispy treat.

Yes, I’m obsessed with making marshmallows, I will admit it to the world. They’re just so simple, but the flavors of the beer play very nicely here. The beer caramel sauce, inspired by bourbon caramel, has similar dark, spicy flavors. There is a malty, “beery-ness” to both components, but their sweetness helps balance it out. The nutty browned butter, crunchy puffed rice, and hearty dose of salt rounds out the dessert, and the dark chocolate is purely gilding the lily on my part.

Beer Crispy Treats
Each part of the final dessert can stand alone, and that is why I love this recipe. The beer marshmallows and caramel are both delicious by themselves, and the salted brown butter crispy treats are not to be missed.
For the Salted Beer Caramel Sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup The Bruery Autumn Maple beer
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup on medium heat. Bring to a low boil. Gently swirl the mixture in (do not stir), and allow it to boil until it is a deep amber color, 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the cream and the butter. Return to low heat and stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in salt and beer. Return to a low boil for five minutes. Remove from heat and cool before using.
For the Beer Marshmallows
  • 2 envelopes (4 tablespoons) unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup cold, flat The Bruery Autumn Maple beer, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  1. In bowl of a standing mixer or a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over ¼ cup beer, and let stand to soften.
  2. In a large, heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second 1/4 cup of cold beer, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, about 12 minutes. The beer will cause the mixture to foam, but resist stirring unless absolutely necessary. (I stirred about 3 times during the cooking, to help reduce foam.)
  3. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved. With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until pale tan, thick and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer. Keep the fluff in your large bowl for crispy treat making,
  4. If making beer marshmallows, transfer to a greased 9” square pan. Let set up for 2-3 hours, cut and dust with powdered sugar.
For the Beer Crispy Treats
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 8 cups Rice Krispies cereal (or any puffed rice cereal)
  • 1 batch beer marshmallow fluff
  1. Grease a 9 x 13” pan with cooking spray or butter.
  2. In a large, pale-bottomed pot, melt butter over medium heat. You want to brown the butter, for a nutty, rich flavor. The butter will foam, then turn clear gold, then finally begin to brown. Stir often, scraping up the browned bits and keeping your eyes on the pan. Once the butter starts to brown, remove from the heat. The butter has a tendency to burn quickly.
  3. Pour the butter into the bowl of beer marshmallow fluff and stir to combine. At first, the butter and marshmallow doesn’t seem to want to combine. But the marshmallows will melt a little, and after a few stirs the mixture will finally come together. Add the cereal and stir quickly to combine.
  4. Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and spread gently with a spatula. To press into place, I recommend using a square of parchment paper that has been greased. Use it greased side down to smooth and press the cereal into the pan.
  5. Let cool for 30 minutes, to come to room temperature and harden. Using a serrated knife, cut into small squares.
To assemble the Beer Crispy Treats:
  • 10 ounces dark chocolate [bark, chips, or bar]
  1. If needed, chop your chocolate into ¼” squares. Put all chocolate in a heatproof (metal or glass) bowl. Set the bowl over a small pan of simmering water - so that the bowl rests on the rim of the pan. Make sure the simmering water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. This double boiler set up will melt the chocolate.
  2. Stir the chocolate to help melt. Once mostly melted, take the pan and bowl off the stove. The residual heat will fully melt the chocolate. Dip the top of one treat into the melted chocolate. Place the crispy treat, chocolate side up, on a baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the crispy treat squares.
  3. Once all treats are dipped in chocolate, refrigerate the treats for 20 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened. Place treats on a platter and drizzle with cooled caramel sauce. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Autumn Maple/Cinnamon Israeli Cous Cous with Napoleon of Sweet Potatoes and Maple/Brown Sugar Mascarpone

This month we've collected recipes for food made with or made to pair with our fall seasonal, Autumn Maple.  Today's comes from Happy Home Blog! Read below and check out their blog for some incredibly delicious food articles!

For the Cous Cous
2 cups Israeli cous cous
2 ½ cups Autumn Maple beer
½ cup vegetable stock
1 tsp cinnamon
For the Sweet Potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes, in ¼ slices lengthwise
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
For the Mascarpone
¼ cup mascarpone
2 tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
For the Autumn Maple Sauce
2 cups Autumn Maple beer
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400*F
  2. Begin by bringing 2 ½ cups Autumn maple beer and ½ cup veggie stock to a boil.
  3. Add your cous cous and simmer, 8-10 minutes or until tender.
  4. Stir in cinnamon, and set aside, covered to retain heat.
  5. Butter a baking sheet and lay slices of sweet potato on the sheet
  6. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pats of butter.  Bake in the 400* oven until soft, about 10 minutes.
  7. In a separate bowl, cream together mascarpone, ginger, and brown sugar.  Transfer to a piping bag.
  8. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat 2 cups Autumn maple beer, ¼ cup maple syrup, and ¼ cup brown sugar.  Boil until reduced by half; watch to ensure the pot does not boil over.
  9. To assemble: Lay down a bed of Autumn Maple cous cous.  Place 1 slice of candied sweet potato, then pipe a line of mascarpone.  Alternate sweet potato and mascarpone for several layers.  Place Autumn Maple sauce in a separate ramekin for dipping.  Enjoy!
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pumpkin Beer Bread

This month we've collected recipes for food made with or made to pair with our fall seasonal, Autumn Maple.  Today's comes from An Open Cookbook!  Read below and check out their blog for some incredibly delicious food articles!

I was recently a lucky recipient of two large bottles of Autumn Maple beer from The Bruery in Southern California.  My immediate thought was...Beer Bread!  What a perfect accompaniment to a nice glass of cold beer with the hint of yams and warm spice.  So I scoured through the internet, cookbooks and my recipe binder and finally landed on this hearty recipe from Ezra Pound cake blog.  I wanted to climb through the looking glass when I saw the picture of her beer bread.  She perfectly depicted the idea of tearing off a hunk of bread from a loaf and eating it as quickly as possible.

I made a hefty loaf of bread in my spring form pan.  So every time I ate it (which was quite frequently), I concocted a different topping.  In the picture below you see butter and honey in a little bowl.  The first time I ate it, I slathered a slice with the butter and honey.  The next time I took a bowl of bread over to M's house, and melted the honey and butter together and we gave the bread a dip.  Yes.  This is by far the way to go...syrupy, salty coating for every bite.  The bees would have been proud and the bread sort of falls apart from the hot honey butter.  All the more reason to lick your fingers.

I am sort of relunctant to say that the weather seems to have taken a slight crisp turn, but as a consolation, we have beer and beer bread to keep us happy and warm.  If you are lucky enough to have access to beer such as Autumn Maple, do yourself a favor and buy double the amount.  Half for cooking and half for kind of need both.

Pumpkin Beer Bread
Adapted from EzraPoundcake blog
Yields one hearty loaf

Beer bread is a great centerpiece or accompaniment to a meal that you can share with your friends and family.  The pumpkin puree adds a hint of autumn and little flecks of orange.  Use a good quality beer like The Bruery's Autumn Maple for a richly flavored bread.  Serve with a nice pumpkin soup and a slab of butter and honey.

2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 ounces beer
½ cup pumpkin puree (canned or made from fresh)
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Slowly pour the beer into the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon as you go.  Add in the pumpkin and stir just until combined.

Line a bread loaf or spring form pan with parchment paper.  Pour half of the butter into the bottom of the prepared pan and tilt it around until the butter is evenly spread.  Spoon the batter into the pan.  Evenly pour the remaining butter on top of batter.  Slide into the oven.  Put a baking sheet on the shelf below the bread in case the butter drips (which it probably will).

Bake about 60 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown on top and done in the middle.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Serve with melted butter and honey and a glass of beer.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Peanut Butter Panang Beer Curry with Chicken and Rice Noodles

This month we've collected recipes for food made with or made to pair with our fall seasonal, Autumn Maple.  Today's comes from the Fat & Happy Blog!  Read below and check out their blog for some incredibly delicious food articles!

Did you need to read that title twice? There's a lot going on in it- especially the beer in a curry sauce. But I do like to put my own slight twist on recipes; even more so when beer is involved!

The Bruery sent me a few bottles of their Autumn Maple beer in exchange for a recipe as part of their Facebook Blogger Invitational - I was all too happy to play around with a new beer.

This beer, which is brewed with yams, is their answer to the many pumpkin beers found on the market today. I found it to be a bold beer that is reminiscent of all things fall - bold, earthy and warming with a hint of spice and happily not too sweet.

There are a lot of obvious pairings with fall beers, but I wanted to go just beyond the typical. In this dish, coconut milk and red curry paste are an obvious combination as is the chicken and rice noodles. And often a dish like this would call for a fish sauce, but using a full-bodied fall beer helps to give this sauce an earthy undertone.

The peanut butter marries well with this spiced beer and rounds out the richness of the sauce while giving a nutty crunch (if you opt for a crunchy peanut butter.)

Bring on the Autumn chill - I'm ready with a Fat and Happy warm fall dish that's slightly off the beaten path.

Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: Adding the peanut butter to the sauce too soon seemed to cook away the flavor and richness so I prefer to add it towards the end of the cooking process.

Peanut Butter Panang Beer Curry with Chicken and Noodles

2 tomatoes, chopped or crushed
1 cup beer
1/2 can coconut milk
2 tbl red curry paste
1 cup sliced red pepper
1 tbls brown sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter (crunchy is optional)
bean sprouts
green onions, chopped
parsley or cilantro, chopped
olive or peanut oil
1 lime, cut into wedges
4 oz rice noodles

Marinate the chicken as directed below. Allow the chicken to come to room temperature before cooking it. Heat a pot of water to cook the rice noodles. Heat a medium-size skillet over medium high heat, add a drizzle of oil and brown the chicken on all sides. Set the chicken on a plate and set aside.

To the hot chicken pan add the tomatoes- use a wooden spoon to help scrape the tasty scraps off the bottom of the pan. Add in the beer to complete deglaze the pan. Add in the coconut milk, curry paste, red peppers and brown sugar and bring to a simmer.

Now add the chicken to the sauce, cover and simmer about 10 minutes until the chicken is done. Boil the noodles according to package directions. Add the peanut butter to the sauce and simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes.

To serve, place chicken and noodles in individual bowls along with a big scoop of the panang sauce. Top with bean sprouts, green onions and parsley. Squeeze a little lime over the top (optional).

Curry Beer Chicken Marinade

1/2 can coconut milk
2 tsp red curry paste
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1/2 cup beer
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 chicken drumsticks (or 1.5 lbs of pieces), skin removed

Add all the ingredients in a large ziplock bag and seal tight. Carefully shake and mix everything together. Allow the chicken to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Autumn Maple Beer Pancakes

This month we've collected recipes for food made with or made to pair with our fall seasonal, Autumn Maple.  Today's is a special one for our vegetarian and vegan fans.  It comes from Veggie Alchemy!  Read below and check out their blog for some incredibly delicious food articles!

I love getting stuff in the mail. With the exception of bills (blech, who needs 'em?!) I'm like a kid when packages arrive. In fact, I'm probably driving my neighbor crazy with all the Amazon orders that get sent to his place instead of mine. Needless to say, I was STOKED to get a couple bottles of Autumn Maple Beer from The Bruery in the mail. Recently, my friend Veronica suggested I participate in The Bruery's Facebook Blogger Invitational. Participants were given the opportunity to concoct recipes using one of their newest seasonal brews, Autumn Maple. If you live in Southern California, you are probably familiar with this small craft brewery located in Orange County. They produce Belgian style ales, many of which are totally vegan, that are inventive as they are delicious. The Autumn Maple is no exception. The Bruery challenges tradition, using yams instead of pumpkin. It's a new spin on an old classic. The end result is rich, slightly sweet, bold and spicy. It is truly Autumn in a bottle.

This recipe accomplishes a couple things. One, it fuses all those familiar fall flavors (say that five times fast!) with traditional maple-y breakfast stuffs. What you get is fluffiness, spice and Autumn Maple's rich maltiness. Two, it's a hell of a way to treat a hangover! Hair of the dog, anyone?

Autumn Maple Beer Pancakes with Warm Apple Compote

Spiced Apple Compote

1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup vegan sugar (turbinado sugar, evaporated cane juice or any organic sugar)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 vanilla bean pod, split down middle or 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum or brandy (optional, but awesome)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
4-5 apples (gala, golden delicious, fuji or honey crisp) peeled, cored and cubed
pinch of salt


In a large sauce pan, over medium-high heat, combine water, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla (entire pod), rum or brandy, salt and spices, and bring to a boil. Gently boil until all sugar is dissolved and mixture becomes slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the apples to the mixture and bring back to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and remove vanilla pods. If any seeds remain in the pods, scrape seeds and add to the apple mixture. Mixture will thicken as it cools. Serve warm over pancakes. It also makes a delicious topping for desserts and ice cream.

Autumn Maple Beer Pancakes

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (preferably soy)
1/2 cup water
1 cup Bruery Autumn Maple Beer, chilled
2 tablespoons oil (vegetable or canola)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons molasses
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Oil spray, vegan margarine (I like Earth Balance) or oil for cooking


Set your griddle pan over medium-high heat while you get your batter prepared. In a medium bowl, combine non-dairy milk with apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle for a few minutes. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, sea salt and spices, and mix well. Add the remaining wet ingredients (water, vanilla, oil, molasses, maple syrup and beer) to the non-dairy milk and vinegar mixture. Stir to combine. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and gently whisk ingredients together to form a batter. Do not over mix. A few turns of the wire whisk will suffice. Some small lumps will remain, just be sure there are no dry spots. If you find the mixture is too thick for your liking it can be thinned with a tablespoon of water or non-dairy milk.

Your griddle pan should be nice and hot now. Lightly grease the pan with your margarine, spray or oil. Using a pour spout container or ladle, carefully pour some batter on your griddle pan. Spread it around into a circle with the back of a spoon or bottom of a ladle to the desired diameter. After a few minutes the top, uncooked side will begin to set, creating little bubbles around the edges. Using a spatula, you can carefully lift up the edge and peek for doneness, if you wish. If the batter feels pretty set, you can give them a flip. If the pancake isn't golden brown enough, turn the heat up a little more. If it is too brown, turn your heat down a little. When done, remove from pan and stack on a plate. Pancakes can be kept warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve. Re-grease your griddle and continue with the rest of the batter until it is all gone. Serve with warm apple compote and/or real maple syrup and vegan butter, such as Earth Balance.

Recipe yields 4-6 pancakes

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