My inspiration seems to come to me in the strangest places.
I don’t mean it comes from unusual sources. After all, I am an obsessive foodie. I adore Food Network, Chopped is one of the few TV shows I watch, my shelves threaten to collapse under the weight of my cookbook collection, and I am positively addicted to food blogs. Seriously, it might be a bit of a problem. At work, at home, in class…if I have a spare moment I usually have my nose in a book or, more likely, with my eyes glued to a picture of some fantastic, decadent, perfectly decorated dessert on a food blog. I’m pretty sure all of the students who sat behind me in my grad seminars hate me for making them so damn hungry every morning (I have, in fact, been told as much O.o).
I digress. Another problem of mine.
Oh, while I am (was…) on the subject of food blogs, I have one last thing to add before I get to my original point. You can now follow my blog on Bloglovin! :)
Now back to my original train of thought: my inspiration for Rum and Coke Cookies. It came to me in the shower. At eight in the morning. It was a single isolated thought: “Rum and coke cookies!”. I believe, in that early morning mind-haze, my subconscious latched on to a recent experience and expounded upon it. You see, a few weeks back my man made an incredible whiskey and coke beef stew. It was a little sweet, a little smokey and entirely delicious. I think that idea of transforming well drinks in to dishes struck a chord with me and remained in the recesses of my mind.
Or maybe I just like the thought of Rum and Coke Cookies. :)
Whatever the case may be, I had to make those cookies immediately. I ran down to the grocery store to buy a bottle of Mexican Coke and started baking. Mexican Coke is pretty retro; it comes in glass bottles and uses real cane sugar. The cane sugar is key. I wanted the coke to serve as a molasses-like element and felt that a soda with real sugar would reduce better than those with high-fructose corn syrup.
Brown sugar spice cookies serve as the base of this cookie for several reasons. First, molasses and brown sugar are an obvious pair that complements the rum. Second, I like my cookies chewy and brown sugar makes for a chewier cookie (if you have ever seen the Good Eat’s episode on chocolate chip cookies, you know what I’m talking about). Finally, the spice (including just a touch of black pepper) helps cut through the sweetness of the brown sugar and Coke.
I was immensely pleased with how these turned out. The coke gives them a nice earthy sweetness similar to molasses while the spice rounds out the flavor and the rum icing adds a nice kick. Mind you, the rum is rather strong, so if you’re not a fan, I recommend swapping out the rum for ginger ale, or simply diluting it with water. The rum, however, certainly didn’t deter my man who wolfed down three before I could snap a picture.
Rum and Coke Cookies (adapted from Brown Sugar Cookies)
Yields approximately 2 dozen
- 1 bottle Mexican Coke
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
- 2 Tb dark rum
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Heat Coke in a medium saucepan over high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until it reduces to ~3Tb
- With a handmixer or in a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda and spices in a separate bowl.
- Add flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix until well incorporated.
- Drop by spoonful (1 1/2 Tb) on to a parchment or foil lined cookie pan. Chill for ~30 minutes.
- Bake 9-11 minutes until edges are just brown. Cookies will puff up in the oven but flatten once cool.
- Let cool on the pan.
- Whisk together sugar, rum and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cookies.
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