Don’t forget Santa

Beer cookies for You are ready for Christmas. Your shopping is done. You’ve selected the beers you will drink tomorrow. Time to open one and relax.

Except … what about Santa? He might want more than a beer set out by the chimney. So here’s a recipe for “White Beer Cookies” from the Food Network:

Ingredients
2 bottles (12 ounces each) Belgian style white beer
5 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium orange, zested
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Icing: (Optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 orange zested using a bar grater, optional

Directions
Put the beer and honey to a medium saucepan and reduce over medium heat until you have about 1/3 cup of liquid. You will occasionally have to skim the foam off the top of the beer. You will know you have hit 1/3 of a cup of liquid as the liquid will suddenly begin to aggressively foam due to the high concentration of sugar. Let this reduction cool to room temperature.

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and blend thoroughly. Then add the vanilla, orange zest, coriander, and beer reduction and blend again. Mix the flour and baking soda together then slowly add to the batter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a uniform scoop scoop mounds of cookies onto an aluminum cookie sheet lined with parchment. Make sure you do not overcrowd the cookies; you should be able to fit about 12 cookies on a half sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes (depending on your oven it may take more or less time, for some ovens it could take 15 minutes for others it could take 25; 20 minutes is an average time).

Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet until they are cool enough (about 10 minutes) to transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

… and one more for the stocking

Pike Brewing bar towelsThere are plenty of smaller beer related items — including a bottle of beer itself — that fit nicely into a stocking. Gift certificates, bottle openers, many of the items listed here during the past month.

However, we’re partial to bar towels. They are versatile, soft when you want them to be, and fold nicely into a stocking.

The one pictured here is from Pike Brewing in Seattle, but you may well be able to locate one in your local brewery’s gift shop.

Beer Savers: Charming or otherwise useful?

Silicon Bottle Cap Charms for Beer BottlesYou must make your own decision about if you need beersavers from the folks at Beer Interactive. They promote these silicon caps primarily because they keep your beer fresh and because they can double as bottle charms (you know, like the cute things party guests hang on their wine glass so nobody drinks from it).

If you generally empty a bottle into a glass before drinking then move along to another gift suggestions.

Otherwise consider this very useful review from Mario Rubio, who gave them a thorough test with several different beers. He wrote, “I was impressed with the Beer Saver caps. If you’re the type that has trouble finishing these more common 22-ounce, high gravity barrel-aged beers or simply want to save some of your beer for the next day, Beer Savers area good solution.”

Portable breathalyzer

Beer Alcohol CalculatorNot to throw a wet blanket on your holiday cheer, but it doesn’t hurt to be careful about your blood alcohol level when you are having a few beers.

The portable breathalyzer pictured here is sold at Amazon. It makes checking very easy, which is part of the point, as in a one button operation. But we don’t care what brand you buy — a quick Google search provides plenty of option.

It is not as precise, but you can get an idea of what your BAC might be by using this online calculator.