October 19, 2010 3:31 PM   Subscribe

Looking for easy / creative recipes that involve beer and/or candy.

I just moved to a new city and I've been invited to a themed potluck where everyone is required to bring an on-theme food or drink. This month's theme is Oktoberfest/Halloween: Recipes need to incorporate candy and/or beer.

The only catch is I'm a horrible cook and have limited resources as far as kitchen equipment goes, so the simpler/easier the better. I feel more confident baking than cooking. Bonus points for something extra creative. I've got some time ahead of the party so something that requires longer prep time is a possibility.

Bonus points for something super creative that makes everyone glad they invited me and that I'm now living nearby.
posted by citywolf to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Guiness chocolate cake. Decorate with Halloween candy.

Admittedly, though my first thought for a "recipe" was as follows: eat bag of candy (wash down with beer).
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:45 PM on October 19, 2010 [3 favorites]

Are they going to have non-dessert (candy) food available? Because if not, that's going to be a whole lotta sugar.

How many people do you need to feed? Delia's Beef in Designer Beer is amazing and not difficult. You might do a double batch of this, everyone could have a few bites.
posted by cyndigo at 3:46 PM on October 19, 2010

Skittles Vodka! Buy a few bags of skittles and separate by colour. Put a single colour of candy into a bottle, top up with vodka (at least a few inches deeper than the depth of the Skittles), shake well, and let it sit for a day or so, shaking a few times. The Skittles will eventually dissolve completely. When they do, put the bottle in the freezer, and it will look very pretty when it gets frosted. You don't have to do every flavour- think of what flavours will taste good. Red would be great, so would purple. The other three colours are all citrus flavoured, meh, but maybe you could combine the yellow with either orange or green (not both, it'll turn brown) to make a "mixed citrus" flavour.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:47 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: > Are they going to have non-dessert (candy) food available? Because if not, that's going to be a whole lotta sugar.

Yes - definitely. I think the host is making beer basted such and such meat-things (can you tell I'm not a foodie).
posted by citywolf at 3:48 PM on October 19, 2010

If you want to go with something more "Oktoberfest" and less "St. Patrick's Day," there's also this recipe for a cake that uses both beer and sauerkraut, but I haven't tried it; I have, however, eaten the Guinness chocolate cake and am thus qualified to proclaim it awesome, moist and delicious.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:49 PM on October 19, 2010

for the record, making the guinness cake's icing with guinness beer tastes pretty good. Made it for my friend's birthday this April.
posted by lizbunny at 4:01 PM on October 19, 2010

I've made this chocolate stout cake several times now and it always works really well. It's always hugely popular when I make it for others and is the nicest chocolate cake I've ever eaten. It tastes better if you leave it for at least day after icing before you eat it, so making ahead of time is not a problem.

I just make the full recipe (as given there) and bake it in a normal 21 inch cake tin rather than use a bundt tin. It takes about 50 minutes to bake and covering the tin with foil for the second half of the cooking makes an even crust on the top. It's a very easy recipe, bascially cooking together beer, butter and cocoa, seperately mixing eggs and sour cream, then folding the whole lot into the dry ingredients to make a runny mix. The ganache also works very well, making a thick consistency which allows me to pour it over the whole cake for even coverage without all running straight off the side.

It's not heavy on the beer once it's cooked, you can't really taste the stout. But it does make for a moist, rich cake which fits your theme.
posted by shelleycat at 4:03 PM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Nthing the Guinness chocolate cake. It's awesome.
posted by cyndigo at 4:06 PM on October 19, 2010

posted by dhammond at 4:12 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

According to this article, Mario Batali once made a sauce (I'm guessing it would be classed as a gastrique or agrodolce) using orange soda and Starburst.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 4:24 PM on October 19, 2010

Creative would be Skittles vodka. Delicious would be penne alla vodka.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:47 PM on October 19, 2010

I'm pretty sure Sandra Lee has cooked with candy at some point, but I can't say I've ever tried any of it. *shudder* You can do a ton of things with beer - for example, use it as a braising liquid then reduce and strain for a sauce. Beer-battered anything if you're of the frying persuasion.
posted by sanko at 5:01 PM on October 19, 2010

Beer and cheese bread!
posted by lollusc at 6:08 PM on October 19, 2010

Best answer: In the spirit of not-dessert:
welsh rarebit or pumpkin beer cheese soup

super easy and super delicious. everyone will be overwhelmed by sugar, and you get to be the awesome person who brought melty delicious cheese.

(and oh man do i ever want to steal this potluck theme.)
posted by dizziest at 6:58 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Make beer floats! I've done this for a couple of potlucks -- it's always a hit and it couldn't be easier.

Two combinations work well: Stout (or chocolate stout) with chocolate ice cream; and brown ale (something very malty) with vanilla.

Some non-beer drinkers have trouble with the bitterness of the stout mixing with the ice cream, so I make a syrup -- one part Guinness to one part sugar. Boil together until you get a nice thick syrup to drizzle over the ice cream and sweeten the drink.

For Halloween, you could try a pumpkin ale (or pumpkin ice cream if such a thing exists), or you could try adding some of M&Ms to your chocolate stout.
posted by thebergfather at 7:16 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

I once made cookies with a xmas theme where you used regular sugar cookie dough, cut out the center, add crushed Lifesavers, bake, let cool: voila - a cookie with stained glass in the middle.

May work for Halloween by making jack-o-lantern shaped cookies with orange-colored crushed Lifesavers added to the cut-out eyes and mouth.
posted by cda at 8:28 AM on October 20, 2010

The best candy recipe ever has to be Peepshi.

I wonder if you could do something similar, use confections to emulate a German dish? Maybe "Sourbraten" with a rice krispy treat "bun" and a bundle of sour straws for the "braten?"
(Don't worry, krispy treats and sour candy taste pretty good together. See Peepshi above.)
posted by cross_impact at 8:37 AM on October 20, 2010

Best answer: If you can find a decent pumpkin beer, an alternative to Guinness that would be appropriate this season is Chocolate Pumpkin Beer Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting.
posted by ifjuly at 9:22 AM on October 20, 2010

These beer & chili nuts went down a treat when I gifted them a few Christmas' ago. Very very easy to make.
posted by WayOutWest at 9:46 PM on October 20, 2010

Response by poster: Follow up!

I managed to successfully bake the Chocolate Pumpkin Beer Cake mentioned above and it went over VERY well. It was super moist but a little dense for my taste but everyone loved it.

Another guest also bake cupcakes using the Guiness recipe above, so everybody wins.

Thanks everyone! I'm sure I'll be back here next month with another potluck recipe request!
posted by citywolf at 4:12 PM on October 25, 2010

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