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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.

Genesee builds keg Christmas tree

Genesee keg Christmas treeGenessee Brewing in Rochester, N.Y., has used 300 kegs to build its own version of a Christmas tree outside it brewhouse, trimmed with with 600 feet of LED green rope lights, and topped it with a rotating Genesee sign. The tree is 23 feet tall.

“It’s been great fun,” Michael Gaesser, Genesee’s director of packaging innovation, said at a press briefing. “As soon as you turn it on, people start taking pictures. Everyone thinks it’s cool and the whole company rallied around it.”

The tree was erected on a 16 x 16 wooden base and between the 10 layers of kegs is a plywood platform. The kegs are tied together with a cable system. When disassembled, the parts will go into storage for next year.

And the kegs? “The kegs will go back into the production flow and go right back out with beer in them,” Gaesser said.

An official public lighting ceremony is set for Thursday.

Scrabble coasters

Although the points on the tiles only add up to 17 the word FERMENTATION has the potential to add a lot more points by reaching double and triple letter or word scores.

These are the sorts of things you can contemplate while shuffling through this set of beer coaster tiles. It does not come with a large scrabble board, although no home bar should be without one. Added bonus: you can pick this up at the PBS store.

Vintage beer commercials

Vintage Beer CommercialsDoesn’t it seem to you that Russell Crowe should have starred in a beer movie instead of his wine-soaked release (“A Good Year’) a while back?

BeerBooks.com has DVDs on just about any beer-related subject you could want. From making beer to the history of beer to beer and food to great old commercials.

Now if they just sold a remote that doubled as a bottle opener.

And for your Next Glass

Next Glass appIt is being touted as the “Pandora for beer” although you can’t taste beers straight from your smartphone the same way you can listen to music.

The Next Glass app is available for both Android and iOS and serves both beer and wine drinkers. After you download it, it will have you rate some beers. Then when scan a bottle at your local store or do a search for a particular beer it will return a score that predicts if, and how much, you’ll like that beer.

“The more you rate, the more we learn about you,” said Next Glass CEO Kurt Taylor. “We look through chemistry of the beers and wines you have given us your preference on and we are able to find correlations and trends within your profile to figure out what is driving your enjoyment of those bottles.”