Chocolate Chip Cookies: 3 Pairings

Table Mates by | Dec 2015 | Issue #107

In the hands of Amy Lemon, the pastry chef at Emeril’s Delmonico Restaurant in New Orleans, the ordinary chocolate chip cookie becomes an uncommon treat. Brown butter infused with vanilla bean lends the rich texture of caramel, while an equal mix of dark and milk chocolate and a delicate sprinkle of vanilla fleur de sel ties together the cookie’s sweet and savory notes. The layered flavors and dusting of salt also mean this dessert is best served with a pint. Jonathan Bender, author of the new baking and pairing cookbook Cookies & Beer, shares his picks.

Coffee Milk Stout | 5.0% ABV
Stone Brewing Co.
Coffee is omnipresent (there are whole beans in the mash), but not overpowering in this coffee Milk Stout. Creamy with a touch of sweetness, almost like a latte, the cookie adds a touch of mocha to the java in the nose and body. The Stout’s roasted malts play beautifully off the caramel undertones from the brown butter for a smooth finish.

Rye-on-Rye | 12.0% ABV
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Aged in charred oak Templeton Rye barrels, this burnt orange-colored brew gets its depth from two different rye malts and a spot of brightness from Citra hops. The spiciness in the rye beer adds a bite to the dark chocolate in the cookie, à la Mexican hot chocolate. Meanwhile, brown sugar in both the brew and cookie find harmony in caramel notes.

Old Viscosity Ale | 10.0% ABV
Port Brewing Co.
Roasted malts define this complex brew, lending it the aroma of coffee and a finish that’s all about dark chocolate. The cookie brings out earth and oak from the bourbon barrel-aged beer and transforms it into chocolate syrup with a hint of licorice, while the richness of the Dark Strong Ale shines a light on the vanilla fleur de sel.