Sierra Nevada tumbler cookies

As we transition to (hopefully) cooler weather, dig our flannels out from the back of our closets and prepare ourselves for the onslaught of pumpkin spice everything, let’s not forget to celebrate the reappearance of Sierra Nevada’s fall beers.

Seriously, Chico’s beloved brewery deserves more credit for helping locals through the year— one seasonal beer at a time.

The four beers in Sierra Nevada’s Fall Pack are Tumbler, Vienna, Flipside and Octoberfest. Each one seems to have a little more of a robust profile— heartier in fact, which pairs nicely with the coziness of cooler days, crisp autumn leaves and richer foods.

Aside from sipping straight from the bottle, cooking is possible with just about any kind of beer, but the rich flavor of darker autumn beers seem to make the best results.

Simmer beans or sausages in beer. Cook onions with a splash of beer and then pile them on a burger. Boil a bottle of a dark beer down to make a concentrate (see method below in recipe) and use it to make beer floats, beer ice cream and beer brownies. Add reduced beer to oatmeal, or try pouring some into a french toast batter— really, what things wouldn’t go well with an extra boost of malty, hoppy, beery goodness?

If you’re a skeptic, and think that beer in food is too daring, ease into it by making beer cookies. They’re a flash to make and will leave you with just enough leftover beer to sip on while you wait, or dunk cookies into afterward.

Sierra Nevada Tumbler Cookies
Cookies spiced with cinnamon and spiked with Sierra Nevada Tumbler. Photo credit: Grace Kerfoot

Sierra Nevada Tumbler Cookies

Due to its chocolate and dark toasty flavor, Sierra Nevada Tumbler beer pairs well with the sweet cinnamon aura of the classic Snickerdoodle. Don’t be intimidated by the word “reduction,” it simply means to take a liquid and boil it down so that it has more flavor but less liquid volume.

For the Tumbler reduction

  • 1/2 cup Sierra Nevada Tumbler

For the cookies

  • 3 tbsp Sierra Nevada Tumbler reduction
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Extra: 1/4 cup sugar & 1 tbsp cinnamon mixed together for rolling the cookie dough balls in
  1. First, make the reduction.
    Pour the 1/2 cup of Tumbler into a small pot and heat until it has
    reduced its liquid volume by half. This should take about 15 minutes or less, depending on how high the heat is. In the meantime, take the butter out of the fridge so it can soften. When it looks reduced by half, remove from the heat until the cookies are ready to be made.
  2. With a hand mixer
    or a whisk, beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until creamy. Add the
    egg, vanilla and Tumbler reduction and beat again until smooth. Add all the other ingredients until the classic cookie dough consistency is achieved.
    Refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375
    degrees Fahrenheit. Scoop the dough out with fingers or a spoon and form it into the size of a small gold ball. Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture
    and place on lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.

Makes about 24 cookies.

Grace Kerfoot can be reached at [email protected] or @gracekerf on Twitter.