I love to dig through the bargain section at my local book store.  Mostly for recipe books. On one of my little treasure finding expedition I came across  Cooking With Beer by Cookbook Resources for less then the Caribou Cold Press coffee I was holding at the time.  It was an easy purchase.  The question is, did I get my monies worth?

Here is my breakdown of this little gem:

Pros:

  • Lots of recipes, 231 to be exact.  I’m lucky is most of my other beer cookbooks tops 100.
  • Cooking With Beer has a great introduction to cooking with beer that includes styles, general pairing suggestions, and commonly used beer phrases.  Don’t expect this section to be written for the craft beer nerd.  It is meant as an introduction for aspiring chefs.
  • This book covers a lot of ground from appetizers, to desserts.  One section I was very excited about was Beer Cocktails.  In this section of the book they cover drinks you can make using beer as an ingredient.
  • One big beef I have with a lot of cookbooks is that they get into ingredients that are not readily accessible.  One book I have has a recipe for Wild Game Stroganoff.  Not only is wild game hard to come by in my Richfield Neighborhood (though mind you, I have thought about taking out a few of those tomato eating squirrels), but it also was asking for about $100 in spices.  Not so with Cooking With Beer.  For the most part you shouldn’t need to travel much further then your local grocery store.
  • There are a lot of great recipes in this book that require 6 ingredients or less.  This is awesome for the busy chef.  The book also clearly marks recipes that use slow cookers as well.  Over all most of these recipes should not take more then 30 minutes of prep time.
  • There are a lot of fun beer quotes and facts scattered through the book that are fun to read.

Cons:

  • There are no pictures in this book.  Grant that this is a trade off for getting so many recipes, but it should be noted.
  • While the introduction is functional, it is a lit bit dry.  There is no humor or flavor interjected.  While this is not a huge drawback, it is worth mentioning.
  • A lot of the recipes are too simple.  They probably could have taken out a few and added a couple of more complex recipes.  There are just one too many recipes that only have two ingredients, and given my level of boredom, I probably could have figured them out on my own.

 

Overall I really enjoyed Cooking With Beer.  I definitely will be utilizing it in the future for meal ideas around the home.  While this book is not for the grand gourmand, it is for the working person looking to find new uses for that extra beer rolling around in the back of the fridge.  Overall it was worth the price of my next coffee.

Rating:  B

Sample Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Stick and 2 tbsp. of Butter
  • 1 Cup of Stout (for this one I used Brau Bros. MooJoos)
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Cocoa
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup and 2 tbsp. Sour Cream
  • 1 tbsp. Vanilla
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 1/2  tsp of Baking Soda
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt butter and remove from heat.  Pour stout, sugar and cocoa and mix together until smooth
  3. Combine eggs, sour cream, and vanilla in a bowl and mix.  Add beer mixture and stir.  Slowly add in flour and baking soda.  Mix until smooth.
  4. Pour into a 9 inch pan and bake from 45 minutes to and hour.

I made this cake out of Cooking With Beer.  It was one of the best chocolate cakes I ever made, and super easy!  It was perfect consistency, and a hundred times better then a box mix.  I didn’t make the frosting for it, but served it with whipped cream.

Cooking With Beer: MooJoos Batter Cooking With Beer: MooJoos Batter MooJoos Batter MooJoos Batter

 

Where to Buy:

As I said earlier, I found this book on a discount rack at a local book store.  I had some trouble contacting the company who wrote it, but I did find it on sale here