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!

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7 thoughts on “Root beer cookies.

  1. I have never been very good at baking, but lately I have wanted to try my hand at it again. (something about cold weather triggers this baking urge!) I believe that these cookies will be my experiment. Will let you know if they are edible or if they wound up as skeet targets!
    Your comment about jars in the back of your fridge reminded me of what my children did to me over Christmas. In high school, they both worked parttime at a local supermarket. Did you know that EVERYTHING has an expiration date? They attacked my fridge & threw everything out that was expired. They ignored my pleas that condiments kept cold would still be good; that Dad & I had not gotten food poisoning; please, just go play outside. It turned into a contest as to who could find the oldest. I was humiliated & complaints fell on deaf ears! Ah well, the fridge is clean!!!

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  2. These sound awesome! I will have to make… although I do have a question – is it imperative to use dark brown sugar? I usually buy golden or light because I like the texture better.

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  3. Peggy: I hope you do try them! They are not a root-beer assault, but they are delicious. And … condiments go bad? No, that can’t be. I am pretty sure you’re right, though I do remember a moment in my teenhood where I accused my parents, in front of company, that they were serving two-year-old salad dressing at dinner. Ah, well. Hopefully you found something new and exciting to fill the fridge!

    Amanda: It isn’t imperative to use one or the other – I only specified dark because I like the taste better, and that’s usually what I have on hand. You can adapt and play with these as much as you like – they’re essentially sugar cookies. I agree though, the golden sugar has a nicer texture.

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  4. Wow — wow! These are beautiful, and I really love the tops — they look sort of like pecans. Gorgeous.

    I am a perfumer (will be starting my online business soon, now that I have a few products to launch) and one of my perfumes is a root beer scent. My point is, you COULD use root beer ingredients as seasoning to amp up the root beer fragrance a little more, I think. Almost all of the things I used in my perfume, which really is root-beery, are edible.

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  5. Linda: Thanks! I’m glad you think they’re pretty. I’d love it if you’d send me the link when you get your store up and running – root beer perfume alone makes me want to buy. I am sure you’ve got even more enticing options. I think if I were to try these again, I would add something more root beery – they were good, but I think if I wanted a bolder taste, it’d be good to supplement the concentrate.

    Mom: The dressing totally was super old. But I now know that’s okay. So we both win. Except mostly I do.

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  6. Well that’s funny. I’m pretty sure the last time you were over here with your boy-husband, you bought me some salad dressing so that I could stop getting stomach-aches from the 2-year old salad dressing I was still consuming! Thanks, I still have it 🙂

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