Sunday Baking: “The Corruption” & Pinwheels

DC Brau Brewing Company “The Corruption” & Pinwheel Icebox Cookies– At $13 for a 6-pack of cans, this American IPA is a solid, reliable, easy-to-drink option. It has a nice IPA hopiness without being over-the-top. It pairs nice with ribs and burgers, but also is nice on its own with good company and conversation. The cookies are great sugar cookies that, while time consuming, were easy even though the finish product looks complicated. Rating 3.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

DC Brau Brewing Company “The Corruption” & Pinwheel Icebox Cookies– At $13 for a 6-pack of cans, this American IPA is a solid, reliable, easy-to-drink option. It has a nice IPA hopiness without being over-the-top. It pairs nice with ribs and burgers, but also is nice on its own with good company and conversation. The cookies are great sugar cookies that, while time consuming, were easy even though the finish product looks complicated. Rating 3.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Red, white, and blue pinwheel icebox cookies

Red, white, and blue pinwheel icebox cookies

I’m way behind in my Sunday Baking posts. However, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to post about the Pinwheel Icebox Cookies I made because while they’re a little time consuming, they were easy to make while looking complicated and fancy. Plus, now that it’s September, cookie season is right around the corner, and these can be made with any combination of colors (brown and orange for Halloween; white, blue, and silver for Chanukkah; red and green for Christmas; pastel pinks and purples or blues and greens for baby showers, etc). Since I made them for Independence Day, I went with red, white, and blue.

Ribs and DC Brau "The Corruption"

Ribs and DC Brau “The Corruption”

I opened DC Brau Bewing Company’s “The Corruption” to go with my baking because Hubby was slow grilling ribs, and I knew the pairing would be a good one; and, if I’m being honest, I thought opening a beer that was made in the Nation’s Capitol, but also had an irreverent name was fun for July 4th.

DC Brau Brewing Company "The Corruption"

DC Brau Brewing Company “The Corruption”

The Corruption (brewery) is made in Washington, DC and is DC Brau’s take on a Pacific Northwest American IPA. The beer had a dark honey color that was almost amber with an inch of off-white foam. On the nose, there was sticky, sweet bread and caramelized grapefruit. In the mouth, there was pine, grapefruit, and hints of the sweet sticky bread with a touch of butteriness on the finish. The beer was medium bodied.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this beer in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At $13 for a 6-pack of cans, this beer is a solid, reliable, easy-to-drink option. The brewery describes the beer as “assertive without being overbearing,” and I think that sums up The Corruption perfectly.

DC Brau The Corruption and Red white and blue pinwheel icebox cookiesThe cookies were inspired by Just a Taste’s recipe, and they were great sugar cookies that ended up being a huge hit with my coworkers. The key to these cookies is to have the patience to let them chill in the refrigerator. And, when it’s time to layer the different colors, it’s very important to roll the dough tightly together. If you don’t, there will be cookies with big gaps of air within the cookie rather than having a nice solid piece. These will definitely be repeat cookies, particularly when I’m looking to make a larger batch or want something reliably yummy.

Ribs, maple glazed carrots, and DC Brau "The Corruption"Overall, both the beer and the cookies were delicious on their own and made for a fun pairing when put together.   That said, the beer was definitely a better match for the ribs and maple glazed carrots, as it cut through the fat without overpowering the juicy flavor of the meat.

Question of the Day: When you’re grilling for a big holiday like Labor Day or July 4th, do you tend to drink beer or wine?  Do you have a favorite that you usually reach for?

Bonus question: What, if any, baked desserts to you serve when you have a cookout?  Do you have a go-to recipe?

Red, white,and blue pinwheel icebox cookies
Pinwheel Icebox Cookies
Print Recipe
These sugar cookies chill in the refrigerator, are rolled into a log, and then sliced into perfectly sized and delicious treats.
Servings
4 dozen
Servings
4 dozen
Red, white,and blue pinwheel icebox cookies
Pinwheel Icebox Cookies
Print Recipe
These sugar cookies chill in the refrigerator, are rolled into a log, and then sliced into perfectly sized and delicious treats.
Servings
4 dozen
Servings
4 dozen
Ingredients
Servings: dozen
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter for 1 minute. Add sugar, and beat until light and fluffy (about another minute). Add vanilla and the eggs, beating until just combined (about 30 seconds).
  3. On low speed, add dry ingredients and beat until just combined.
  4. Separate dough it into three equal pieces. If you are keeping one of the swirls white, shape one piece into a 4-by4-inch square. Wrap it in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge. This will be the white swirl in the cookies.
  5. Now it's time to color the other two pieces.
  6. Put one of the remaining pieces of dough back into the stand mixer bowl. Add your the first color (in this case, I used red). Mix on low until dough is desired color. Then remove the dough from the mixer, shape it into a 4- by 4-inch square, wrap it in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge.
  7. Clean out the bowl to remove any food coloring residue.
  8. Place the final piece of dough in the stand mixer bowl, and mix your second color into the dough using the low setting (in this case, I used blue). Remove the dough once it has reached your desired color, shape it into a 4- by 4-inch square, wrap it in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge.
  9. Refrigerate all the dough for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut each square in half. Take one half of each color and wrap it back up in the plastic wrap. Put it back in the fridge while you make the first log.
  11. Place one of your colored rectangles of dough in between two pieces of wax paper. I started with the red one. Roll it into a rectangle. I made mine 1/6 inch thick because that is one of the settings on my rolling pin, but the dough can be thinner if you prefer.
  12. Next, do the same thing with a second rectangle of dough. I used the white one.
  13. Finally, repeat with your third color. This was my blue rectangle. Make sure that all three rectangles are the same size when you are finished rolling them out.
  14. Now it's time to stack the three different colors of dough.
  15. Leaving the wax paper on the bottom, peel the top layer of wax paper off your first section (in my case, the red dough). Then peel the wax paper off one side of your second section of dough (my white dough). Place the exposed dough on top of each other (I placed the white dough on top of the red dough). Now, remove wax paper from the top of the two stacked pieces of dough (in my case, the white dough was now on top because I wanted it sandwiched between the two colored pieces of dough). Then, remove the wax paper from one side the final section of dough (my blue dough). Place the final section of dough on top of the exposed dough in the dough stack, creating three layers of dough.
  16. Very lightly and briefly roll the three layers to help them meld together.
  17. Starting at the shorter end of the rectangle, tightly roll the dough into a log. You want to roll it as tightly as possible, this way there are no air gaps in your final cookies.
  18. Repeat the rolling, stacking, and log-creation process with the remaining dough in the fridge. Wrap both logs in wax paper before wrapping them in plastic wrap and placing them in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  19. Remove the dough logs and roll them on the counter several times to prevent a flat side from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 more hours.
  20. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  21. Remove the dough from the fridge and slice each log into 1/4-inch cookies. Place each cookie on the baking sheets, about an 1 1/2-2 inches apart.
  22. Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes or until they are starting to turn golden. Let cool for a few minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe Notes

Snowzilla Day 4 – A Goodbye to Snow with a Snow Roller

**Here is my blog post about Snowzilla Day 1 , Snowzilla Day 2 (Part 1), Snowzilla Day 2 (Part 2), and Snowzilla Day 3**

Magic Hat Brewing Company Snow Roller – This seasonal brown ale from Vermont is only available in the winter, but it’s a great option for the IPA lover looking to explore new beer horizons Ratings 3.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Magic Hat Brewing Company Snow Roller – This seasonal brown ale from Vermont is only available in the winter, but it’s a great option for the IPA lover looking to explore new beer horizons Ratings 3.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

IMagic Hat Brewing Company Bottle Top promise…this is my last post about Snowzilla. I know it was months ago. I know everyone is over snow and instead thinking about spring, cookouts, and rose. But, I’m clearly behind on blogging, and I tasted so many good things over those few days I didn’t want to miss sharing. So, here it is…my final day of Snowzilla.

By the time Day 4 rolled around, the weather was doing more to clear away the snow than the city. There are many things I love about DC, but the ability to handle snowy weather is not one of them. Hubby and I spent our last day home acting more like it was a staycation day rather than a snow day. And, after several days of wine, I felt like enjoying a beer instead. So, I opted for Magic Hat Brewing Company’s aptly named Snow Roller.

Magic Hat Brewing Company Snow Roller Hoppy Brown Ale

Magic Hat Brewing Company Snow Roller Hoppy Brown Ale

The Snow Roller (brewery) is a brown ale from Vermont. The beer had a clear medium amber color with about an inch of foamy tan head. On the nose, there were mild smells of caramel, cereal, and something bitter. In the mouth, caramel and biscuits mixed with hints of citrus and something earthy. The beer had a medium body with a slight bite of bitterness on the finish.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this beer in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. It was an interesting mix of a brown ale and IPA. So, if you’re an IPA lover looking to expand your beer horizons, you should definitely grab a bottle. Overall, this beer was makes for a nice winter seasonal option and it was perfect for a snowy day.

Question of the Day:  What’s the weather been like you?  How has it impacted your drinking choices?

Purchased at Harris Teeter
Overall: 3.5 Corks

Enjoying the Local Species

Blue Mountain Barrel House Local Species

Blue Mountain Barrel House Local Species

Blue Mountain Brewery is about 2 and a half hours away, so it’s definitely not a “DC Beer,” however, I still think of it as local. In fact, Blue Mountain Brewery makes quality craft brews, and while it’s taken me a little while to find my favorite of their beers, I have enjoyed the ones I’ve tasted so far.  So, admittedly, while I ended 6th Annual DC Beer Week  (August 17-24) with a non-DC beer, I did go with a “Local Species,” and it definitely hit the spot.

The Local Species (brewery, untappd) is a Belgian Pale Ale made by Blue Mountain Brewery in Nelson County, Virginia.  The beer was a dark, hazy, reddish-amber with an off-white, foamy head and a lot of lacing on the glass.  On the nose, there was toasty maltiness mixed with hints of red apple and caramel.  In the mouth, there is a maltiness and some grass mixed with the slightest hint of something sour, maybe sour grapefruit, and some toffee-like sweetness, probably from the bourbon barrel the beer was aged in. The beer had a nice body with a long, smooth finish with only a hint of hoppy bitterness.

Cork and closeup of Blue Mountain Barrel House Local SpeciesIs this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this beer in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.  At $11 for 750ml, this beer is easy to drink, food-friendly, and well-balanced.  Hubby and I have started the fall race season training, so I enjoyed the Local Species on a Sunday evening while recovering from one of my first longer training runs.  It was a great beer for putting up my feet, relaxing, and catching up on my Runner’s World and Vogue magazine reading.

Question of the Day: How far away is still local for you when it comes to buying local beer or wine?  For you, is buying local more about supporting small producers than it is about actually buying local (for example, is buying a Robert Mondavi wine when you’re in Napa still buying local)?

Price: $11 for a 750ml bottle
Purchased at Whole Foods Market
Overall: 4 Corks

Getting Rowdy During DC Beer Week

With Congress in recess during August, the 6th Annual DC Beer Week  (August 17-24) couldn’t have fallen at a better time for me.  The slower work schedule not only allowed me to head out to lunch at places that were offering local beers, but also let me taste one while there.  Halfway through the week, I met a colleague at a DC restaurant institution — Old Ebbitt Grill.  Old Ebbitt can be a little touristy, but they have some of the best crab cakes in the city, so when I saw that they were one of the restaurants participating in DC Beer Week, I couldn’t pass up going there.

As I already mentioned, a number of DC beers are only available on tap at local restaurants or at the breweries themselves, which adds to the mystic of some local brews.  The problem for me is that unless you visit the brewery, you’re missing out.  And, since Hubby doesn’t drink, going to a brewery on a Saturday afternoon isn’t really his idea of fun, so there are a number of local beers I’ve been reading a lot about, but haven’t had a chance to taste.  As, Atlas Brew Works has only been open for about a year, their beers are a little harder to find than some of the other local breweries, so I haven’t had a chance to try one yet.  Therefore, you can imagine my excitement when I saw the Rowdy Rye on the tap list at Old Ebbitt.

A pint of Atlas Brew Works Rowdy Rye at Old Ebbitt Grill

A pint of Atlas Brew Works Rowdy Rye at Old Ebbitt Grill

The Rowdy Rye (brewery, untappd) is a rye beer from Atlas Brew Works in Northeast Washington, DC.  The beer was a hazy, copper color with hints of amber.  On the nose, there was rye bread, caramel, and black pepper mixed with a hint of something floral and zesty.  In the mouth, there was only the slightest hint of hoppy bitterness mixed with rye, caramel, black pepper, and resin. The beer had a medium body.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this beer, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.  This beer is anything but rowdy, as it’s well-crafted and nicely balanced.  It’s a beer  I wish was available in my local store because it would make a regular appearance in my house.  In fact, it’s a beer that I enjoyed so much, I looked up the location of the brewery to figure out how difficult it would be to visit semi-regularly so that I could keep some of their beer on hand.  The Rowdy Rye was smooth and easy to drink on its own, while also making a gorgeous pairing with my crab cakes.  To be honest, when I first tasted the beer, I was concerned about how the pairing would work.  I loved the way the beer tasted, but I couldn’t picture it mixing well with my lunch.  So, I was very pleasantly surprised to see how the beer and the crab cakes really enhanced each other when put together.

Question of the Day: Do you buy growlers of beer from a local brewery or store?  If so, I’d love to hear more about your experiences.

Atlast_Facebook_ImageP.S.  For those of you who are local,  Atlas Brew Works is holding an anniversary celebration at the brewery THIS Saturday (9/6) from 1-5pm.  There will be local DC food trucks (including one of my personal favorites, Cap Mac), live music from local bands, great beer (obviously, although only your first beer is included in the price of admission), and community spirit, as all the proceeds from the event will benefit the Washington Humane Society.  Tickets are $10, and you can purchase them here through OnTap.  I’m not getting any kickbacks from the brewery or OnTap if you buy tickets, although I did receive complimentary admission from Atlas for Hubby and me, so we’re planning on checking things out.  If you see me, say hello and we can toast some fantastic local brews together!

When & Where: Saturday, September 6, from 1 to 5 pm
@ 2052 West Virginia Ave. NE, Washington, DC
Food: DC Sliders, Cap Mac, and Woodland’s Vegan Bistro
Music: Live music from Bumper Jacksons (a DC roots jazz/country swing band),
Unstable Heights (a Baltimore progressive/alternative rock band), and Sunwolf.

Price: $6.95 per pint
Purchased at Old Ebbitt Grill
Overall: 4 Corks

DC Beer Week at Bluejacket

As I prepared to participate in DC Beer Week last year, I had difficulty finding beer from participating breweries in my local stores.  Unfortunately, that isn’t something that improved this year.  In fact, it was even more difficult to find actual DC beers in the local grocery stores.  Admittedly, this is a little frustrating because it’s sometimes nice to just enjoy a beer in the comfort of my own home, rather than having to head out to a local restaurant or brewery to drink local.  That said, on Monday when I mentioned to a couple of coworkers that it was DC Beer Week and suggested we head to a local brewery to indulge a little, neither of them hesitated to accompany me.

This wasn’t our first visit to Bluejacket Brewery by the DC Navy Yard, but one of the interesting things about Bluejacket is that there is a regular rotation of the beer available on tap.  This does have its cons, as my coworker found out when he went to order one of his favorites–Mexican Radio–only discover that it was no longer on tap.  However, it also means that there is constant experimentation happening at the brewery by both the brewmaster, who is innovating with new styles and techniques, and the customer, who always has something new to taste.

On tap lineup at Bluejacket

On tap lineup at Bluejacket

Haywire on tap at Bluejacket

Haywire Hoppy Wheat on tap at Bluejacket

On this visit, I started with the Haywire, which is a “hoppy” wheat ale.  It was added to the menu at the start of DC Beer Week, so it seemed only right to begin with this lighter beer.  It was a hazy, golden-yellow with an off-white foam and some lacing on the side of the glass.  On the nose, there were lemons and wet hay.  In the mouth, there was citrus, hay, and a hint of something herbal.  The beer had the bitterness I expect from hops, but not as much other flavor as I expected, especially considering the nose.

Chicken burger and caesar salad at BluejacketBecause I was feeling more adventurous with my beer than with my food, I ordered my Bluejacket usual – the Chicken Burger, which is a ground chicken patty with  fried shallots, red wine aioli, and arugula, and the kale Caesar salad instead of the fries.  The Haywire probably wasn’t the best pairing with my lunch, although that was my own bad pairing choice.  I definitely preferred both the beer and the burger on their own rather than together.

Ultimately, my impression of the Haywire was it had some nice wheat beer characteristics upfront, but the finish fell off the cliff leaving me wanting more from the beer.  I was glad I tasted it, but it’s probably not a beer I will order again.
Overall: 3

Spectre Brett IPA on tap at Bluejacket

Spectre Brett IPA on tap at Bluejacket

After the Haywire, as an admitted Brett- and IPA-lover, I couldn’t resist tasting the American IPA that was brewed with brettanomyces–Spectre.  The beer was a cloudy yellow-gold.  On the nose, there was a mixture of pineapple, Riesling, and wet horse.  In the mouth, there was pineapple, grapefruit, and hints of honey and hay.  I thought the beer was interesting and well-worth tasting, although it’s also a beer I could only drink one of before being ready to try something else.  If you like beer that is fermented with Brett, this is definitely a beer you should try.
Overall: 3.5

The Stroppy on tap at BlueJacket

The Stroppy American Pale Ale on tap at BlueJacket

The last beer of the day was The Stroppy, which is an American Pale Ale.  The beer was a clear, medium-to-dark amber.  On the nose, there was some grapefruit and some dry grass.  In the mouth, there was citrus, dry grass, and a hint of something floral.  This beer was the winner of the day for me, although I wish I had some of Bluejacket’s wings or tater tots to eat with it as The Stroppy was very food-friendly.  The beer was very much my style, so I hope Bluejacket keeps it on tap a little longer as I’d love the opportunity to drink it again.
Overall: 4

While Bluejacket’s brews are only available on location, if you like visiting craft breweries and live in the area or find yourself visiting DC, Bluejacket should be on your list of places to go.  It’s particularly convenient if you combine your visit with a baseball game at Nationals Park, which is only a few blocks away.

Question of the Day: Do you drink local beer or wine at home or is it something you tend to order only when you’re out at a restaurant or bar?