Ginger Molasses Amber Ale Cookies

Recipe by Lori Rice

The typical amber ale offers sweet caramelized toffee notes in each sip. In these crisp yet chewy cookies, the beer is reduced down to a concentrated liquid that perfectly balances the pleasantly spicy kick of ginger. Food writer and recipe developer Lori Rice shared this recipe with us in Sift's Fall 2018 issue.

50 mins
14 mins
2 hrs 4 mins
4 dozen cookies
Ginger Molasses Amber Ale Cookies


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. Bring the beer to a simmer in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Watch closely to make sure it doesn't foam over the sides, reducing the heat if necessary.

  2. Bring the beer to a low boil and cook, stirring often, for about 15 minutes, until it thickens and reduces to 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces; see "tips," below). Set aside to cool. Note: If you sneak a taste of the reduction it will taste unpleasantly bitter, but don't be afraid; this is how it should be. Much like an extract, once mixed into the dough it will be delicious.

  3. In a medium saucepan set over low heat, heat the butter, molasses, 2 1/4 cups of the sugar, and salt. Stir often, until the butter melts and the sugar and salt dissolve, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  4. Stir in the spices and the amber ale reduction. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

  5. Whisk together the flour and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Turn the mixer to low and slowly pour in the liquid ingredients.

  6. Add the egg. Mix until well blended and a thick batter forms. Stir in the raisins and ginger.

  7. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 1 hour, until firm.

  8. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Pour 1/2 cup sugar into a small bowl.

  9. Scoop the dough by the tablespoon and roll into balls. Roll the dough balls in the sugar to coat, then place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2" of space between them.

  10. Bake the cookies for 14 minutes. They'll puff up and still look soft. When the edges just begin to brown, remove them from the oven.

  11. Let the cookies rest for 5 minutes on the pan before transferring to a cooling rack. The cookies will become crisp as they cool.

  12. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Amber ales are sometimes called red ales. Look for these beers to use in this recipe: New Belgium Brewing Company Fat Tire Amber Ale, 14th Star Brewing Company Valor Ale, and Full Sail Brewing Company Amber Ale.
  • When reducing the beer, keep a heatproof measuring cup nearby. When the liquid in the pan looks close to syrupy, you can pour it into the measuring cup to see how much you have. When the amount is just under 1/4 cup in volume, it's ready. If you have more than that, put the beer back in the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more.