I often enjoy perusing the baking aisle at the grocery store, musing at the myriad of combinations— spices, nuts, chips, sugars, and flours— so many things I haven’t tried yet. Aside from those palpable ingredients, there are flavorings and extracts. One extract that interested me, and I considered somewhat odd, is root beer extract. After doing a search for uses online, I came upon a treat that I marveled over as a child at a friend’s birthday party— Root Beer Cookies! Moreover, I was inspired by re-using Pringle tins in order to ship cookies to family and friends in the Northwest. I tweaked the recipes in order to withstand the travel.
Root Beer Cookies
• Hand mixer
• Rolling pin
• Plastic wrap
• Parchment paper
• 2 cookie sheets
• Whisk, or fork
• Wide-blade butter knife
• Round cookie cutter (I used a measuring cup, 2 inches wide)
Adapted from a recipe by Café Johnsonia
• 2 cups unsalted butter
• 4 cups dark brown sugar
• 4 eggs
• 5 teaspoons root beer extract
• 7 cups flour
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
This recipe makes 24 2-inch cookies.
Begin by setting out two sticks of butter, to soften. A quick way to soften butter is to cube it into a bowl and microwave for 12 seconds. Next, line your cookies sheets with parchment paper. Using the hand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and root beer extract, until smooth. Then add each egg, one by one, mixing well in between. In another bowl, use a whisk or fork to incorporate the flour, baking soda, and salt. Continuing with your trusty hand mixer, at about 2 cups at a time, incorporate the flour mixture. Lastly, scoop the dough into a large piece of plastic wrap, and pop into the fridge for no less than an hour.
Do not be discouraged by the rock hard dough, it will soften quickly as you roll it out. My favorite, keep-your-little-kitchen-clean trick is to roll dough between two pieces of plastic wrap. Roll it out to anywhere between ¼ inch to ½ inch thick, and lets be honest, it can vary within those bounds and in different places, nobody is perfect. At this point, preheat the oven to 350°. Next, use whatever you have found for a cookie cutter, and start cutting. This recipe rises and spreads only slightly, therefore the shape and size you cut is close to what you end with. Finally, place the circles an inch and a half apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes, each batch.
Adapted from a recipe on Food.com
• 2 cups powdered sugar
• 3 teaspoons water
• 4 teaspoons light corn syrup
• 1 teaspoon root beer extract
Using the whisk attachments to your hand mixer, mix all of the ingredients. Start with one cup of powdered sugar, and add the second cup after the other ingredients. Have fun with it; add food coloring for a bit of flair to your cookies.
Once the cookies have fully cooled after baking, use a wide-bladed butter knife to spread the icing on each cookie, beginning in the middle and spreading outward. My advice is to keep the icing thin, because it is fairly liquid and will spread. Also, a bonus of the liquid texture is that any unwanted painterly strokes are eliminated as the icing dries. Allow the icing to dry on the cookies for another hour, or until hard to the touch.
In order to prepare the Pringles tins for housing the cookies, I cut brown butcher paper (my favorite), to cover the outside, and glued it into place. I found a sheet of scrapbook paper with a snazzy design, and applied it as accents, not forgetting to cut a circle for the clear plastic lid. I picked out wine-bottle sized labels and diamond hang tags in the style of Renaissance, and affixed them front and center. Then I sent them off to be enjoyed by my loved ones!
More homemade gift ideas from Eloquaint Zoe:
Earl Grey Fudge Lemon Crackle Cookies Cardamom Shortbread Cookies Cheese Crackers