Root beer cookies.

I think I told you I’m writing a book. Aren’t we all? By “writing a book,” of course I mean spending four hours tonight on Facebook, Twitter, MyLifeIsAverage, and everyone-else-in-the-world’s blog. Four hours is probably not even an exaggeration.

As there’s no point in going outside for the next two to three weeks, and since this whole book-writing thing is much less fun than anything ever, today’s off-the-couch distraction was cookies. Root beer cookies, actually, because there was a little bit of a bottle of the stuff left in the back of my fridge and I get super neurotic about throwing anything out. Which explains why I have so many mostly empty jars taking space in my little fridge (at least eight of the jars are condiments that I felt compelled to purchase because they were so weird I couldn’t just leave them there to not be bought).

Most root beer cookie recipes I’ve come across call for root beer extract, which apparently is as easy to find as regular old vanilla, but I’d never heard of it, and, frankly, I can’t be bothered to go looking – why use root beer extract when a root beer reduction works just fine?

Well, maybe it would make the cookies more root-beery. But I like what I came up with here – it’s like sugar cookies high-fived vanilla, and the result is a chewy, sugary delight. A whiff of root beer, and that’s all you really need. If you wanted root beer hyperbole, you’d just drink the stuff, wouldn’t you? Yes. That’s what I thought. So here you go: my root beer cookie recipe. I hope you like it.

Root beer cookies

(About 30 cookies)

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 cups root beer, simmered until reduced to 1/2 cup (30 minutes to one hour), and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually pour in root beer reduction, then each egg individually, beating continuously until just after the last egg has been added. Stir in vanilla extract.

Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Pour into the wet ingredient mixture, stirring to combine until dry ingredients are just moistened.

Roll dough between your hands to form a ball the size of a golf ball. Roll the balls in the sugar, and place on a cookie sheet, about an inch and a half apart. Press each ball down with a fork.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes, to desired doneness, or until golden around the edges. I like mine just shy of underdone, so that they’re still chewy, but I know other people like theirs finished. Serve warm, with cold milk, or store in a sealed container for about a week, if they last that long.

Tomorrow’s distraction? Cookie eating. I win two nights in a row!