I made these spent grain cookies with Kahlua and chocolate chips for National Cookie Day.
While I am still not completely sure about the process of proclaiming a national something day, I do know about making cookies with fresh spent grain (as opposed to spent grain flour cookies). And I will give you an idea of what you could substitute the spent grain with if you don’t have any at your disposal.
Spent grain is the leftover malted barley (plus any other malted grains used) after the mashing stage of brewing has been completed and the grains have been sparged (hot water has been ran through them to release any residual wort).
After sparging, the spent grains are scooped out of the mash tun and can either be discarded or, more commonly, used in recipes or as animal feed (animals go nuts over fresh spent grain!!).
This below is fresh spent grain, within an hour of Chris giving it to me. Do you notice the husks? I did squeeze some liquid out by simply applying pressure with my fist, but for the most part it remained quite moist.
If you do not have fresh spent grain at your disposal you can use cooked hulled barley (whole grain barley) instead.
It will bring a similar texture to your cookie dough and it has a pleasant nutty flavor similar (even though not as robust) to that of malted barley spent grain. Either use the instructions on the package for cooking the hulled barley or follow the ones provided in the recipe card below.
The rest of the ingredients are very straightforward. I used classic Kahlua, rum and coffee flavored, but you can absolutely use a different flavor or even Bailey’s if you are so inclined.
These spent grain cookies turn out amazingly fluffy, yet you will not fail to taste the grains that dot them throughout. They make their own wholesomely chewy contribution to the texture. Imagine fresh baked biscuits, but sweet and filled with chewy grain bits. And the coffee and rum flavored infusion of the Kahlua partners so very well with the faint nuttiness of the spent grain. Plus, there are the chocolate chips further sweetening the experience.
Actually, these are not overly sweet cookies. You can increase the brown sugar to boost the sweetness level, but the resulting texture will not be as fluffy/cakey.
Learn how to make Spent Grain Flour and utilize the fresh spent grain you cannot use right away.
Pairing wise, I would either go with hot coffee with a shot of Kahlua:) or a porter/stout. The cookies are fun to dunk in either of the two beverage options. In case you have respect for dunking. I love to dunk my cookies.
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Kahlua Spent Grain Cookies with Chocolate Chips
Kahlua flavored spent grain cookies turn out wonderfully puffy and taste even better with added chocolate chips. Substitute cooked hulled barley for the spent grain if you cannot find fresh spent grain.
- 1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
- 1 1/2 cup spent grain (*see below for substitute grain, cooked hulled barley)
- 1/3 cup Kahlua (original flavor or substitute with coffee porter reduced by half over medium heat, then cooled off))
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- *To substitute the spent grain with cooked barley: Use a ratio of 1 part barley to 3 parts water. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add 1/2 cup hulled barley and return to boil. Reduce heat to low (cover and cook for 45-50 minutes. Cool off and squeeze out any extra water before using in this recipe. Should make exactly 1 1/2 cups.)
- In a mixing bowl combine the melted butter, beaten eggs, brown sugar, Kahlua and vanilla. Mix well.
- Stir in the spent grain.
Add the flour, salt and baking powder and stir it in using a fork.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Spoon over parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes at 425°F.
These are awesome! I didn’t have any kahlua on hand so I mixed a little bit of rum with some strong coffee. I’ve always fed my spent grain to my animals but now they’ll have to share it with me.
Jennifer Bullock says
These are delicious! How do you recommend keeping them fresh? Also, I’d love to try it with coffee porter, after the reduction, do you still have 1/3 cup or is the 1/3 cup before the reduction? I do not have a lot of experience with reductions.
Hi Jennifer, thank you for stopping by. You would start with double the amount of coffee porter – so 2/3 cup in this case and over medium heat simmer it until it gets down to 1/3 cup (water and alcohol will evaporate leaving you with concentrated flavor). Also, you want to add the beer to a cold sauce pan and then turn on the stove and bring it to simmer – if you add it to warm saucepan it will foam.
For this recipe you’ll want to let the reduced beer cool down before you add it to the mix of ingredients because if warm it will help develop too much gluten in the all purpose flour.
We typically eat these cookies (or variations) within 48 hours, lol. Cannot help ourselves. But otherwise I would store them in an air tight container, room temperature once cooled off.
These are delicious! Great way to use the spent grains provided by our local Brewers!
Thank you so much for stopping by with a kind word, Susie!
This recipe looks delicious! When do I incorporate the brown sugar though? I don’t see it in the instructions.
Good eye, Christina:) Thank you for catching the omission, I appreciate it.The brown sugar gets added with the beaten eggs and melted butter in the very first step, I just fixed the recipe instructions.
Glad you liked them!
Amber Harrop says
I loved learning what spent grain is and how you can use it – thanks for sharing
Thank you, Amber!
I didn’t know what spent grain was, but its wonderful that you found a delicious use for them. Kahlua in cookies….. oh my so glad you thought of it.
Thank you, Leanna!
Miz Helen says
Your Cookies look delicious! http://www.mizhelenscountrycottage.com/2017/12/southern-sweet-potato-pie.html
Thank you so much, Miz Helen!
Marvellina | What To Cook Today says
Holly Molly!! These photos are bite-inviting!!! I’m all for drunken cookies!!!
Too funny! I like the name drunken cookies:)
Wow…these sound amazing!
I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/
Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!
Alison's Allspice says
These look like delicious cookies, and a great way to use spent grain! Sharing with friends and family, Thank you!
Thank you so much, Alison!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
Love how fluffy they are! And Kahula and chocolate? Yes please! Love the idea of pairing these with a stout! YUM! Pinned!
Stout and cookies:) The only thing better than that are brownies with cookies:) Thank you, Dawn!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
Well I have no idea what spent grain tastes like but I know I’ll love these cookies because of the chocolate and Kahlua! I’m sure I’d have no problem eating an entire batch 🙂
It just tastes like sweetish boiled barley I guess… It works very well for granola bars and the like. I think you would like incorporating it in baking recipes, Kelsie!
[email protected] says
Never met a Kahlua recipe I didn’t like! This is my kinda cookie, my friend! Amazing!!
Thank you, Annie, yes, Kahlua is so great to make with (among other things of course:)
I don’t think I’ve ever tried cookies like these before. Using Baileys instead of Khalua also sounds delicious. I’m a fan of Baileys since it’s such a sweet drink with cocoa and coffee flavors. Adding them to cookies it’s an obviously great idea! Time to get cookie drunk.