Beer and Pretzel Cookies

I’m not a huge beer drinker.

Ok, let me backtrack…I’m not a huge drinker at all, really…

But of all the drinks, beer is probably the one alkyholic beverage that I least enjoy.

I’m more of an umbrella drink girl myself, any drink where you can’t taste the actual DRINK.  I know, I know…we do cocktails every Friday over at my other site…

And I can enjoy a few sips, but the booze and me don’t jive.  It’s a proven fact for anyone who knew me circa 1998.  College Days, people.  Just say no.

Anyhow, these cookies are a bit of a mind-boggle to me.

Like if I don’t love beer, why would I bother trying it in a cookie?

Well just call me Madam Experimentation today.

Plus, St. Patrick’s Day is on the horizon and I’ve heard people like to drink beer that day more than all the others…soooo….for those of us who aren’t drinking a brewsky, I thought I might make a cooksky.  Sorry.

I’ll take a cookie over a beer any day of the week.

Let’s do these…Beer and Pretzel Cookies.

Beer and Pretzel Cookies | Cookies and Cups

Here’s the thing about these cookies..yes, they have beer in them…AND in the *optional (hahahahahaha) frosting.

BUT if you’re not a beer person, like me..the flavor is oh so very subtle…enough to make the cookie interesting, but not beer-ish.

On the other hand, if you are a beer person, you’ll recognize the unique flavor and appreciate what’s gong on.

Cause there’s a lot happening here…you have Stout, chocolate chips, oats, pretzels…

Let’s discuss the proceeeedure.  K?

First I grabbed a bottle of Stout…
Close-up view of a bottle of Sierra Nevada Stout beerI poured that whole bottle (minus 2 Tablespoons that I saved for the frosting) into a saucepan.
I boiled that guy down until there was only 1/8 cup left, which is about 2 Tablespoons.
A collage of 4 photos of a stout beer reducing in a saucepanIt took about 25-30 minutes or so, and I had to watch it closely at the beginning, because it will easily foam over. But what you’re left with is a thick Stout syrup.
Kinda cool.
The cookies themselves are pretty basic.

Also, I might should add that I added a bit of espresso into these guys too. HOLD ON!  DON’T LEAVE!

They don’t taste like coffee at all, believe me…it just helps amp up the Stout, I swear it.
A measuring scoop of granulate coffeeIf you have espresso powder, great…if you don’t just add in some espresso grounds, you’ll just have to double the amount…because espresso powder gives a little more punch.

Again, your cookie will not taste coffee-ish…but certainly if you’re worried you can leave this part out.

Then just add the Stout syrup in like you would vanilla…
Close-up of stout syrup being poured into a mixing bowlWhen you’ve got your cookie dough pretty much ready you’ll also want to add in some chocolate chips and coarsely crushed pretzels. Fun, right?
A bowl of broken pretzel piecesNow here’s where you’re gonna hate me.

Let the dough chill.
Please. The flavors come together and mellow out. It’s important.
You’ll need to give it AT LEAST 2 hours, but I prefer an overnight.

While your cookie dough is relaxing, make your frosting.
This will also need some time to chill. Sorry.

The frosting is pretty cool…It’s basically a thick ganache, with yes, more Stout.
All you do is heat some heavy cream and butter in a saucepan until it just comes to a boil.

Remove it from the heat and add in some chocolate chips…
A scoop of chocolate chips being poured into a saucepanPlease excuse my husband’s refusal to moisturize.

Whisk the chocolate chips in until it’s smooth, and then add the reserved 2 Tablespoons of Stout…remember those?
A tablespoon of stout beer being poured into a saucepan of melted chocolateStick that in the fridge for a good hour or two (at least) and let it set up until it’s a spreadable consistency.

When it’s time to bake your cookies, drop your chilled dough onto a lined baking sheet…you’ll want to press the dough down slightly, so they don’t remain too puffy…
A baking sheet of beer and pretzel cookiesHere’s what they will look like…
A batch of beer and pretzel cookies on a cooling rackWhen the cookies are cooled you should pull that frosting out and spread some on top.

Again, frosting is optional..but…

Beer and Pretzel Cookies | Cookies and CupsGarnish them with a cute pretzel and you’re good to go!


Beer and Pretzel Cookies


makes approx 30 cookies



  • 1 (12 oz) bottle stout, minus 2 Tablespoons reserved for frosting
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder or 1 tsp ground espresso
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed pretzels
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons reserved stout
  • *Pretzel twists for garnish


  1. Reduce beer (minus 2 Tablespoons) in saucepan over medium heat until there is only 1/8 cup left. This will take 25-30 minutes. Watch the beer on the stove, as it will foam up easily at the beginning. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Cream butter, brown sugar and espresso powder together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in eggs and reduced stout and mix until combined.
  4. Turn mixer to low and add in baking soda, salt, flour and oats. Stir together until just combined.
  5. Finally add in pretzels and chocolate chips, stirring until evenly incorporated.
  6. Let dough chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight.


  1. In small saucepan heat butter and heavy cream over medium heat until just boiling.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate chips until smooth.
  3. Add 2 Tablespoons reserved stout, stir to combine.
  4. Chill frosting for an hour or two, until spreadable consistency.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Drop by heaping tablespoon size onto a parchment lined baking sheet, pressing dough slightly, so cookies aren’t so rounded.
  3. Bake 9-10 minutes until golden around edges.
  4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  5. When cookies are cooled and frosting is ready, spread on a teaspoon sized amount onto each cookie and top with a pretzel twist


recipe inspired by Betty Crocker

Want To Save This Recipe?

Here are some fun other recipes using Stout from around the Internets:

Cupcakes on Tap with Stout Buttercream from Bake at 350

Maple-Stout Quick Bread from Rachel Cooks

Chocolate Stout Cake from My Baking Addiction

Creme Brulee Topped Chocolate Stout Brownies from The Beeroness

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream from Eclectic Recipes

Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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September 28, 2013 6:15 pm

Hi Shelly,

You have a very nice website and blog with wonderful recipes.

I would cordially like to invite you to which is a free monthly newsletter.

Thank you kindly for your support.


March 19, 2013 3:29 pm

I made these for the weekend. I don’t like beer but I made a special batch of non-beer frosting for myself. I felt my frosting could have been a little more stiff, but besides that, these were great!

March 11, 2013 1:01 pm

1. These look delicious, and I’m absolutely trying them. (Which means for now pinning them with the 8,000 cookie combos I need to try.)
2. This is day 1 of following your blog and it was the greatest of decisions. I’m in love.

March 10, 2013 11:40 am

I made these for a party yesterday and they were a huge hit! The flavor combination was perfect. The dough was a little tough to work with but it was totally worth it. I ran out of frosting but the cookies are delicious on their own! Thank you!

March 8, 2013 4:12 am

Oh, you crrrrrrrrrrazy woman, you!
These are awesome.

March 5, 2013 1:48 pm

Ooooooooooooh, YEAH! These are right up our alley! Love the idea of the stout reduction. I’ve had my eye on that concept for quite some time. Interesting addition to the cookies, too. And, the ganache frosting WITH stout…Genius!

March 5, 2013 8:14 am

I’m so with you on alcohol. Wine and umbrella drinks are the only way to go, but cooking with beer? That yeasty brew does something magical. xoxo

March 5, 2013 12:14 am

How interesting and creative to put beer in cookies!

March 4, 2013 5:30 pm

They look delicious and I’m not even a big beer drinker either. But in a cookie? With frosting no less =o) I’m in!

March 4, 2013 5:29 pm

Never heard of such a cookie recipe! Well, I’m not a big fan of beer, but I do love to drink it in summer. Bet these cookies will remind me of relaxingsummer days! Also I love the addition of espresso!

March 4, 2013 3:30 pm

These sounds yummy! Thanks for the recipe.

March 4, 2013 2:50 pm

Your cookies look so FUN to eat! I’m so with you on the beer thing. It’s pretty interesting how it can make food taste so much better with just a bit of that twist. (With certain cookies I make, I replace the vanilla with brandy.) Now I’m going to have to go grab some beer and pretzels for your yummy recipe!…that’ll get my small town talkin’! (=

March 4, 2013 2:46 pm

Um, “Excuse my husbands refusal to moisturize!” Funny!

Great cookie and thanks for giving links to other ideas too!

March 4, 2013 2:45 pm

I’m not really into alcohol either but I can totally get down with beer in baked goods! And yeah..optional frosting. that’s a joke.

March 4, 2013 2:36 pm

I have always been hesitant of baking with beer but this is definitely something worth trying and getting over being hesitant!

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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