Tag Archives: Dogfish Head

Beer For Breakfast Muffins

25 Mar

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Scrapple. I doubt there is a more polarizing food in the world. People either love it or detest it. I think some may even fear it just a bit. For those not familiar with this Mid-Atlantic “delicacy,” scrapple is a breakfast meat that has often been described as consisting of everything leftover from a butchered pig except the oink. In reality, it is a mash of pork trimmings, cornmeal and spices that has been formed into sliceable blocks. So easy to prepare, just slice and pan fry until the outside is nice and crispy and the inside warm and creamy. In my opinion, it’s the best breakfast food there is.

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So imagine my delight when my favorite craft brewer, Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery, announced a few years ago, that he was going to brew a specialty ale using scrapple. Brilliant! I was so looking forward to trying his Beer for Breakfast, a lovely stout that boasted classic breakfast ingredients such as coffee, maple syrup, and of course, scrapple. But alas, it was not to be. Those first couple of years, the brew was launched as a limited edition draft available only at the Dogfish Head brewery and pub. On weekdays. Devastated, this 9 to 5-er prayed to the beer gods that someday she’d get to sample Beer for Breakfast.

 

IMG_0438This year, my prayers were answered. Sam, in his ultimate wisdom, decided to bottle and distribute Beer for Breakfast. I was in seventh heaven! I immediately ran out and picked up a six-pack before they were gone. So worth the wait, it was everything I hoped it would be, and then some. And although this breakfast inspired stout was amazingly delicious to drink on its own, I couldn’t wait to try it in a recipe. And it just so happened I had the perfect recipe I’d been holding on to for just such a beverage.

A came across this recipe for Spicy Bacon and Brew Muffins in Cooking Light several years ago and I knew immediately it was one I’d have to try. A moist breakfast muffin, not too sweet, with the flavors of stout and bacon subtly shining through, topped with a maple bacon-studded streusel. These muffins are perfect just out of the oven on a slow Sunday morning.

I altered the original recipe very slightly by using maple bacon, instead of applewood smoked bacon, and of course, Beer for Breakfast Stout instead of Guinness. Ingenious improvements on both counts, if you ask me.

Now you can have your Beer for Breakfast and eat it too!

Beer for Breakfast Muffins

Have all ingredients at room temperature before starting. These muffins freeze really well and thaw quickly in the microwave for 35-45 seconds. Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Streusel:

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons water

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (up to 2 teaspoons if you really like it spicy)

3 slices maple bacon (or applewood smoked bacon)

3 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on the baking sheet.

Combine 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 teaspoons water and red pepper in a small bowl. Spread mixture over both sides of the bacon. Place back on the rack and bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes. Cool; finely chop and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

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Combine the oats and 1 tablespoon of flour in a small bowl. Stir in melted butter. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped bacon. Set aside.

Muffins:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (7.9 ounces)

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cup Beer for Breakfast Stout

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Line muffin tin with paper liners.

Combine flour, remaining bacon, 1/2 cup brown sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir well.

In a separate bowl, combine beer, oil, vanilla, and egg, stirring gently with a whisk.

Add beer mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Batter will be thick.

Evenly divide the batter amount the muffin cups. Sprinkle streusel evenly over the batter.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean.Cool in pan for 5 minutes; serve warm, or cool completely on wire rack.

Enjoy!

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Autumn’s Gift – Pumpkin Ales

13 Oct

Autumn is the time of year that gently nudges us away from our sweet sangria and minty mojitos and has us rummaging through our junk drawers searching for the bottle opener so we can crack open that ice cold bottle of brew. For me, the reason is simple: Fall = football (New England Patriots football) and football = beer. Last year, I fell in love with pumpkin ales, specifically Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale. We’ve got the Dogfish Head brewery in our own back yard and so the Punkin’ Ale was easy to come by. Sam Adams and Blue Moon put out pretty good harvest ales too. But the season is short lived and the pumpkins and harvest ales are with us for only a few short weeks before, tragically, they are gone.

This year, my sister Laura and I attended a pumpkin ale tasting. I know, pure heaven, right? The pumpkin ale scene has exploded in the last year and there were plenty of varieties to sample. The Dogfish Head Pumkin’ Ale was holding its own until about halfway through, and then we tasted it – pure nectar from the gods: Southern Tier’s Imperial Pumking. This one pumpkin ale stands heads and shoulders above all the others. It is simply delicious. So delicious in fact, that I began hoarding it. I’ve told my friends and now they are hoarding it. My favorite bartender at my favorite craft brewpub is hoarding 5 kegs of it. (We threatened mutiny and he finally tapped one – but don’t tell anybody.) It’s that good.

One questioned remained: what to do with the previously hoarded bottles of Dogfish Head? (I can’t help it, the season is really, really short). I did a little research and found the following recipe, courtesy of My Baking Addiction. A nice, spiced chocolate cupcake, goes well with pumpkin ale – Southern Tier’s Pumking, of course. Use the Dogfish Head in the recipe.

Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes

Makes about 24 cupcakes

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

1 (12 ounce) bottle Pumpkin Ale
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the pumpkin ale, milk, oil, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add in sour cream, mix until fully incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda.
Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. (Batter will be thin.)
Evenly divide the batter into the prepared muffin tins.
Bake for 25 minutes, until risen and set in the middle, but still soft and tender. Remove pan to wire rack. Cool completely before turning out of the tins.

Ingredients for the Buttercream Frosting:

4 sticks I salted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pounds confectioner’s sugar
6 tablespoons pumpkin ale

Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
Slowly begin adding the confectioner’s sugar, mixing well after each addition.
Once all the sugar has been mixed in, add the pumpkin ale and mix until light and fluffy. Beat on high speed for about two minutes. If frosting is too thick, add a little more pumpkin ale, a teaspoon at a time, until you reach desired consistency.
Pipe frosting onto cupcakes, decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

Notes:

I made half the frosting recipe, and was able to cover all but two of the cupcakes. But if you’re using a large tip to frost, go with the full recipe.

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