Guinness was the first beer I really loved. I think the reason that I liked it so much was that it reminded me of a cup of coffee. It became my standard pub drink before I started experimenting with different variations of stout (oatmeal, chocolate, coffee) and then trying other styles of beer.
I guess you could say Guinness was my gateway beer.
One of my favourite styles of stout that I tried during my stout discovery period was the milk stout - a creamy sweet stout that contains lactose (milk sugar). Milk stouts are hard to find and none are currently available on LCBO shelves, luckily for us living in Ottawa one of my favourites can be found just 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa. La Vache Folle from Microbrasserie Charlevoix, a 9% ABV black stout with a creamy coffee head, is a flavourful example of a milk stout. It has subtle aromas of coffee, chocolate and tastes like a heavenly sweet combination of toffee, cocoa powder, coffee and roasted malts.I didn't have a spare bottle of La Vache Folle when I had a milk stout craving a few nights ago, but I did have a bottle of Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery's Milk Stout (Thank you Ross!). This North Carolina brew rings in at 5.7% ABV and pours dark brown with a tan head. It has a sweet aroma with hints of chocolate and has a delicious creamy cocoa, caramel taste. I find it a little less creamy than La Vache Folle and with a more pronounced hop character and slight tartness. A decent representative of the style and a wonderful brew to enjoy with double chocolate cookies!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces (227g) milk chocolate - 4 oz coarsely chopped, 4 ounces cut into 1/4-inch chunks
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325°F; line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Melt coarsely chopped chocolate with butter in a heatproof bowl over pot of simmering water.
- Transfer melted chocolate/butter mix to a large bowl; add sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix on medium speed using an electric mixer or hand mixer until combined. Reduce speed to low and gradually mix in flour. Fold in chocolate chunks using spatula.
- Scoop batter and place on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces begin to crack (about 15 minutes). Cookies should be a little soft when they come out of the oven. Let cool on rack or on sheet for 5 minutes.
- If any survive the first day they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.