Cooking With Beer: From Bread to Cake

Cooking With Beer: You don't have to be a beer drinker to celebrate International Beer Day. Cooking with beer is a delicious alternative that everyone can enjoy.

We can hardly believe we’re celebrating another food holiday already. Wednesday was National Watermelon Day, and today is International Beer Day. This happy day is always on a Friday so we can start the weekend early.

You don’t have to be a beer drinker to celebrate International Beer Day. Cooking with beer is a delicious option. Here are a few ways everyone can enjoy beer, even if you can’t taste the malt or hops. We hope you’ll love these recipes too.

Cooking With Beer: Appetizers and Snacks

Beer is a great way to kick off a delicious meal, whether you’re drinking it or eating it as part of a recipe. Beer bread and beer cheese dip are traditional favorites. But you’ve also got to see what you can do with beer and bacon.

Herbed Beer Bread

This recipe from A Few Short Cuts is fast and easy, as are most beer bread recipes. To be sure it turns out perfectly, remember to use baking powder, not baking soda. If you don’t know if your baking powder is still fresh, you can check it simply by tapping a bit into a bowl and adding water. If it foams up, go ahead and bake with it.

Try changing the combination of dried herbs, or use a flavored beer to add a different dimension to this bread. Or just make it as-is and spread some butter on it. But be sure to grease your loaf pan so your bread releases easily when it’s done and cooled.

Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet With Beer Cheese Dip

It might be too hot outside right now to make this recipe from Host the Toast, but we’re tempted anyway. Those chewy pretzels and hot and creamy dip look delicious. How convenient too, that it’s all baked and served in the same pan. Perfect for sharing while watching Sunday football games or to bring to a potluck. We’re also eyeing Morgan’s recipe for Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Nuggets Stuffed With Beer Cheese.

Beer-Glazed Bacon

It doesn’t get much better than beer and bacon, and this recipe from Thrillist delivers both. While the bacon is baking, make the glaze by reducing beer and maple syrup on the stove. Coat the bacon with glaze and pop it back in the oven to caramelize. These sweet and salty strips of heaven are perfect on their own, or use them as a garnish or topping — perhaps on the beer cheese dip above. Cool the bacon on this extra large Nordic Ware cooling rack.

Cooking With Beer: Main Dishes

Wine has long been used to enhance dishes, but rich and flavorful beer can do the same. While light beer works well in bread and cheese, you’ll want to look for brews with stronger flavors to include in main dishes.

Asian Drunken Chicken

Beer can chicken recipes have been making the rounds for years. We like this one from Billy Parisi because it’s got an Asian flair — unusual among beer can chicken recipes. It requires a lot of basting, but the results look like they’re worth the time. If you don’t yet own a baster, we recommend this one from Tovolo. It shows measurement markings and includes a basting brush too.

Irish Beef Stew

File this recipe from Damn Delicious away for cooler weather when you’re craving comfort food. This stew is flavored with stout beer and will fill your kitchen with wonderful smells as it simmers. We’re on board with serving the stew over garlic mashed potatoes rather than including diced potatoes in the stew. Make sure you’ve got two large stockpots or Dutch Ovens to cook the potatoes and the stew at the same time so everything finishes up together.

Cooking With Beer: Dessert

Beer even belongs in dessert. Once you see this cake, you’ll agree.

Chocolate Stout Cake

We can’t get over how rich and decadent this Chocolate Stout Cake looks. Both the cake and the frosting call for stout. We just need to come up with an occasion worthy of this cake. While the creator of this recipe, Julianne of Beyond Frosting, notes that you can make it with two layers, we think a cake like this one demands three soaring layers. Grab an extra 8-inch cake pan or two if need be. A stand mixer is also essential, so if you’ve ever wanted to spring for a KitchenAid mixer, now would be a great time.

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