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Guinness Caramel Pretzel Cookies - total time 2 hours


Are you the kind of person that goes out of your way to try something new, something different?  It seems like that has been the trend for a lot of things, but especially beer.  Microbreweries popping up everywhere.  Growler stations, mix and match six packs, and bars with 50+ beers on tap making it hard to just go with a Bud Light.  Some of the concoctions seem a little crazy, like one of my husband's go to summer beers Hell or High Watermelon; a wheat beer fermented with watermelon.

Any way, one of my co-workers loves to try new beers (I mean, I do too... but not as much as he does) and his birthday was coming up... so I tried to think of something to bake that would incorporate this interest.  I figured beer and pretzels is a traditional bar combination.  And while we had some different beer in the fridge... none quite as flavorful as Guinness.  Add some chocolate and caramel and we really have cookie that everyone will love!

Warning: because the Guinness has to be reduced, this recipe takes a while!

2 cups Guinness
1.5 cups brown sugar, divided
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
.25 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla
2.5 cups flour
pinch of salt
1 cup caramel
1.5 cups pretzels, crushed

1.  In a double broil, add Guinness and half cup of brown sugar.  Allow Guinness to reduce to about .5 cup over low heat for about 30 minutes.  The Guinness won't really get syrupy like other reductions... so measurement is key.  Allow to cool in fridge for 15 minutes.
2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Whip butter in mixer, then add all remaining sugar and whip until well combined.  Add eggs and mix.
3.  Add vanilla, Guinness reduction, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and mix to combine.  Slowly add flour a half cup at a time incorporating into batter each time.
4.  Remove batter from mixer and stir in chocolate chips, half cup of caramel, and half cup or crushed pretzels.  Refrigerate dough for 15 minutes (or up to 24 hours).
5.  Roll 1 inch balls and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.  After cookies have cooled, drizzle caramel and sprinkle crushed pretzels on top.  



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