Triple Chocolate Guinness Cookies

I’ve had my eye on this Guinness cookie recipe for nearly a year, and as much as I wanted to try it out months ago, I thought it would be perfect to share around St Patrick’s Day! I suppose I could have baked and photographed the cookies way in advance and just not posted until this week, but let’s be honest – the pictures would have gotten buried in my Flickr stream and I’d have completely forgotten about them. I speak from experience on this matter…

Triple Chocolate Guinness Cookies

But anyway, I was super intrigued about the idea of adding Guinness to cookies. Sure I’ve baked with Guinness, but only in chocolate cake and gingerbread. Unlike in those recipes, the Guinness here is actually cooked down significantly until it’s thick and syrupy, and only then is it added to the cookie dough. This process does take some time – probably 30-40 minutes to reduce the Guinness and then you also have to cool it down (or start over and do it again because you cooked it too long and wound up with Guinness taffy, oops!) – so plan ahead!

Whatever you do, don’t turn your back on the syrup for a second because that will be the exact moment it decides to boil over… I promise you do not want to be cleaning sticky Guinness off the top of your stove!

Triple Chocolate Guinness Cookies

Even if you aren’t a Guinness fan (I’m not) these cookies are worth a try; I was surprised by how much I enjoyed them. They don’t have an overwhelming stout flavor – it’s more like a chocolate cookie with a little something extra that you probably couldn’t quite put your finger on if you didn’t know. Nicole over at The Galley Gourmet called it “an essence of stout” and I think that’s a very apt description. The cookies bake up tender and chewy, and whereas a lot of cookies are best warm from the oven, I thought these were equally as good (if not better) the day after I made them.

Whether you’re making corned beef and cabbage, Guinness beef stew, shepherd’s pie or something else entirely to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, these cookies would be the perfect dessert. Served alongside a pint of Guinness of course :)

Oh, and one more thing, Happy Pi Day friends! I almost never remember food holidays, but as a math nerd, this is one of my favorites. I didn’t have time to make a new pie this year, but I wanted to highlight one from the archives: carrot cake whoopie pies. I recognize that it’s not pie in the traditional sense, but they’re so good and perfect for this time of year with spring/Easter on the horizon!

Triple Chocolate Guinness Cookies
adapted from The Galley Gourmet (originally adapted from Cuisine Holiday Cookies, August Home Publishing)

1 (12-oz) bottle Guinness extra stout
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, divided
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan, combine the Guinness and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture has reduced and is thick and syrupy. You should have about 1/3 cup. Transfer to a heatproof bowl or measuring cup and cool slightly. {Note: keep a close eye on the pot as the Guinness reduces, you may need to adjust the heat to prevent it from boiling over.}

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. One at a time, add the eggs and the egg yolk, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, slowly add the cooled Guinness syrup and beat until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing just until everything comes together. Mix in the white chocolate and milk chocolate chips until evenly distributed throughout the dough. Cover the bowl and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or up to 3 days.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a small cookie scoop (mine is about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons), portion the dough into balls. Place them two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes (rotating the baking sheets halfway through), or until the edges are set (the centers may be a little soft still, they’ll continue cooking even after you take them out of the oven). Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool for a few minutes before removing them to the racks to cool completely.

Makes 3-4 dozen