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

Chilling with an Infidel

While I was training for DC’s USA Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, Mondays were hill training runs, which I did on the treadmill to make sure that I got a real hill workout.  Honestly, it’s the part of training I hate the most.  Usually, running is a mind-clearing activity where I burn off stress, get inside my own head, listen to music, and just…well, run.  Hill runs are not like that for me at all.  There is nothing fun or stress-relieving about hill runs.  In fact, I often find they have the exact opposite effect. I spend the entire time either hurling curse words at myself (usually in my head, but occasionally the curses accidentally slip out for others to hear) or silently reciting some ridiculous mantra over and over again in order to keep myself running instead of giving into the urge to just walk up the damn thing.   I hate every minute of those runs, but I do them.  They make me a stronger runner, and, as I was training for a half marathon in DC, it was a necessity because the city is anything but flat.

2011 Selkirk Abbey Brewing Company Infidel

2011 Selkirk Abbey Brewing Company Infidel

So, since Monday , February 17th was day 3 of a long weekend for Hubby and me, I made sure to get my 4-mile hill run in early.  I didn’t want it hanging over my head, especially since it was cold outside, and Hubby and I decided it was going to be a lazy, stay inside type of day.  We took turns heading up to the gym, as he was experimenting with a new slow cooker beef stew recipe and isn’t crazy about leaving it on when we’re not home.  For my part of the day, I was more than happy to spend it at home watching the 2014 Winter Olympics, knitting, and, of course, drinking beer.

The 2011 Selkirk Abbey Brewing Company Infidel  (brewery) was a Belgian-style IPA from Idaho.  The beer was a dark, clear amber with 3/4 of an inch of off-white frothy foam.  On the nose, there was some orange zest, pine resin, and hops with hints of pepper.  In the mouth, there were some oranges, apples, and pine resin mixed with hints of tea leaves, white pepper, and a not-too-bitter hoppiness.  The beer was medium-to-full bodied with a lot of lacing.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this beer in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.  At $9 for 22oz, this beer was smooth, well-balanced, and perfect for a relaxing Sunday afternoon.  It paired very nicely with Hubby’s stew, complimenting the meaty flavors without overpowering the food (or being overpowered by it).  My one complaint was that I only had one 22 oz bottle, and the one I had went fairly quickly.

Question of the Day:  If you’re a runner, do you do hill workouts or do you just keep it to a simple run?

Price: $9 for 22oz
Purchased at Whole Foods Market
Overall: 4 Corks

A Saturday Hop Session

Wine at Central InstagramThe week of February 3rd was a ridiculously busy week.  I started off Monday with a dentist appointment, had work events Tuesday and Wednesday night, ran four miles and celebrated Hubby’s birthday on Thursday, and finished off on Friday with dinner out at Michel Richard’s Central and The Importance of Being Earnest at the Shakespeare Theatre Company.   All that activity meant that I enjoyed a glass of wine or two while out, but didn’t have much chance to taste anything at home.

Running in DCSaturday, though, was a usual day for Hubby and me.  We spent the morning grocery shopping, picking up and dropping off dry cleaning, and finishing up the errands we needed to do before lacing up for our long run.  Since the weather was cooperating, I headed outside, running through the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor so that I could get in some hills in preparation for the half marathon.  It was a solid 13-mile run that left me hoping to get a little faster before race day, but feeling strong and ready.  Afterwards, as usual, I opened up a beer and just spent the evening being lazy.

White Birch Brewing Hop Session India Pale Ale

White Birch Brewing Hop Session India Pale Ale

The White Birch Brewing Hop Session Ale (brewery) is an India Pale Ale from Hooksett, New Hampshire.  As the beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized, it was a hazy medium amber, with an inch of off-white foam on the top.  On the nose, there was some yellow grapefruit and hints of Cheerios.  In the mouth, there was lemon and caramel mixed with hints of pine and something herbal.  The beer had a medium body and medium carbonation.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.   At $8 for 22oz, this IPA was a little lighter bodied than I expected, but it had a nice, balanced bitterness that kept the beer refreshing and enjoyable while still giving me some of the IPA qualities that I was really looking for.  We can have the debate about whether a brewery can make a “Session IPA,” but I think the Hop Session Ale embodies the idea well.  It embraced the hoppiness of an IPA without hitting me in the face with it, which meant the big, bold, bitterness that seems to be more and more common in many IPAs didn’t overwhelm this beer and let some of the other characteristics really shine through.  This was the first beer I’ve had from White Birch Brewing, and I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more of their beers.

Question of the Day:  Are you an IPA fan?  Do you have a favorite?

Price: $8 for 22oz.
Purchased at Whole Foods Market
Overall: 4 Corks

Letting Loose with a Loose Cannon

Tuesday was a fairly quiet day at work.  Congress is in recess, so the Members and Congressional staff are either back in their districts or states working or they’re on vacation.  As Hubby and I aren’t escaping DC until the end of the month, I’m using the time to catch up on the things that piled up during the chaos of June and July.  That meant Tuesday was an email day.  I spent it going through, literally, hundreds of emails.  It was definitely not fun, but I had to do it.

After a day of emails, I headed home to the monthly condo association meeting.  It’s one of those things I have a love/hate relationship with.  I’ve been on the board for 5 years and have been president for 2 of those.  There is definitely a thankless aspect to the job, but I love the community and most of the time the people who live here are friendly and respectable. All in all, we’re lucky that even though our board doesn’t agree on everything, we get along well and we are fairly efficient, not one of these horror stories with 3-hour long meetings and board members yelling at each other.  So, Tuesday evening was the monthly meeting, and there was a lot on the agenda.  The meeting was about an hour and half, which is long for us, and by the time I got back to our condo, I was ready to relax with dinner and a beer.

Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop3 IPA

Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop3 IPA

The Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop3 IPA (brewery) is an American IPA brewed by the Clipper City Brewing Company in Baltimore, MD.  The beer had about an inch of white foam and was a dark orangey, topaz color.  On the nose, there were yellow grapefruits, oranges, and Pine Sol with hints of thyme and something floral.  In the mouth, there were pink and yellow grapefruits, French bread crust and a touch of bitter grass and pine needles on the finish.  The beer had a medium body.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.  At $2.37 for 12oz bottle, I enjoyed this beer, although I expected a little more from it because the Loose Cannon is their flagship beer.  I paired this beer with Hubby’s grilled tilapia seasoned with his own cajun spice mix and a three bean salad, both of which went nicely with the beer.  A lot of casual beer drinkers don’t realize how food-friendly a beer can be, but don’t make that mistake!  Beer and food (and not just bar food) are meant for each other, and the Loose Cannon his one is definitely a beer worth opening with dinner as it was a great compliment to the meal.

Overall, this was one of the beers I was most looking forward to trying during DC Beer week because I see it on tap all over DC, and in the toss-up between it and another local brew, the other local beer has always won.  But, not this time, and I was glad of it because the beer was very good, went down smoothly, and would definitely be something I ordered out if it was on tap.

P.S.—Yes, I know that Heavy Seas is brewed in Maryland, but they were big supporters or DC Beer Week 2013 and were listed as one of the participating breweries, so I’m sticking with the DC Metro area during DC Beer Week 2013.

Question of the Day:  Have you tried any of Clipper City Brewing Company’s Heavy Seas beers?  What did you think?

Price: $2.37 for a 12oz. bottle or $8 for a 6-pack
Purchased at Grateful Red Wine Shop
Overall: 3.5 Corks

Kicking off DC Beer Week with a DC Brau

As this week is DC Beer Week (August 11-18), I’m going to skip Mailbag Monday in favor of giving the local brews a little love.  Not to worry, though, wine lovers…this Wednesday is the return of Wine Blogging Wednesday, so there will be wine making an appearance during DC Beer Week.

Sundays in the A Glass After Work household are fairly routine, and yesterday was no exception.  We hit two of the grocery stores in our neighborhood, and both were pretty empty of people, probably because August in DC means everyone scatters for vacation.  Once got home and I unpacked the groceries, we grabbed a quick lunch before Hubby got to work on the food and I put the first load of laundry in.  Once the clothes were set, I grabbed my running shoes and for a 3.5 mile run.  I have to admit my excitement about this run.  It was my longest one without intervals since my surgery, and while I was definitely sore afterwards, the run itself felt fantastic!  Afterwards, I fired up the laptop and cracked open a cold DC beer as inspiration while writing this blog post (and a couple of others) before Hubby and I relaxed on the couch for some True Blood.

My DC Beer Week Lineup

My DC Beer Week Lineup

In preparation for DC Beer Week, I went to Grateful Red Wine Shop to buy a 6-pack of single beers, all from the DC Metro Area.  The staff was very helpful in trying to make sure I had an assortment of beers from a number of local breweries.  I opted to start DC Beer Week off with something from DC Brau Brewing Company, as it was the first production brewery inside the District of Columbia proper in almost 60 years.  According to their website, as a production brewery, DC Brau produces cans and kegs of beer for sale through their distributor, as well as offer growler-fills, can sales, tours, and tastings onsite.  The three year-round DC Brau offerings–The Public (American Pale Ale), The Corruption (India Pale Ale), and The Citizen (Belgian Pale Ale)–all have a fact on the side of the can, and the factoid changes every year.  Admittedly, I haven’t been to the facility yet, but it’s definitely on my short-list of things to do.

DC Brau "The Corruption" India Pale Ale

DC Brau “The Corruption” India Pale Ale

DC Brau’s The Corruption (website) is an India Pale Ale made in the District of Columbia.  The beer had an off-white, almost pale yellow foam on top with an orangy-amber liquid that was slightly murky. On the nose, there was lemon zest , grapefruit, and pine sap with a hint of something that reminded me of unbaked pizza dough.  In the mouth, there were pine needles, grapefruit, and hints of something floral.  The beer had a medium body and carbonation.

Is this worth a glass after work? Sure…you won’t be drinking anything out of the ordinary, but you’ll have a decent, reliable beer.   At $2.57 for a single 12-ounce can, this was a solidly enjoyable beer but not one that blew me away.   I expected more taste considering the great nose, but after the beer’s initial flavor attack, the finish tasted a little sudsy and faded.  All in all, though, while there are other IPAs I would buy to drink at home, The Corruption is a beer that I would (and have) enjoyed getting when out at a bar or restaurant, as it goes well with hamburgers and good friends.

Question of the Day:  Does your local area have a craft beer scene?  If so, how do you feel about the local beer in your area? 

Price: $2.57 for a can or $13 for a 6-pack
Purchased at Grateful Red
Overall: 3 Corks