Borders Line: Be A Badass Baker—Beer-Battered, Deep-Fried Cookie Dough Balls

You are the lucky recipients of an award-winning recipe of epic awesomeness!

Every January since 2008, Saint Arnold's brewery in Houston has hosted the One Pot Showdown. What does that entail? Between thirty and fifty teams cook some form of deliciousness all in one pot. And most importantly--a major ingredient must be one of Saint Arnold's kick-ass brews. A panel of judges select first through third place winners based on criteria such as overall taste, creativity and use and distinction of Saint Arnold's beer in the recipe.

My husband Matt and his friends make up a team called The Carnies, and The Carnies have placed three of the four years the competition has been held. (And that other year, they were totally robbed.) The first year of the competition, The Carnies consisted of Matt, Daniel and Josh, and they were the original first place One Pot champions. 

And today, you lucky dogs are introduced to this legendary, award-winning recipe! They're called UFOs, or Unidentified Frying Objects. But what they ARE is magic. Ladies and gentlemen, today I'm going to teach you how to make your very own...

Beer-Battered, Deep-Fried Cookie Dough Balls. 

WHAT? I know!

So far on Be A Badass Baker, we've made a buffet of different homemade buttermilk biscuit breakfast sandwiches, some banana bread cupcakes with peanut butter and Nutella frosting, and a dark-chocolate frosted, vanilla pound cake in the shape of the Supernatural Impala. But this recipe, my friends, may be the most bizarrely delicious, ridiculously popular thing you have ever baked. People go NUTS for these UFOs, trust. So let's get to work!

First things first! Beer and tunes. This week I opted for Z by My Morning Jacket and the wonderful Jubelale by Deschutes Brewery. By the way, my camera is currently out of commission, so I apologize for the low-quality phone pics. Please trust me that everything looked much better in real life than it does here.

Second things second! Ingredients. As always, I sorted all my ingredients beforehand. Also as always, I filled my sink with warm, soapy water, so all of those superfluous little bowls have a place to go once they've been used. Just so you know, I halved this recipe, and of that I only made five UFOs. I used the rest of the cookie dough to make normal cookies, because I am only one woman, and one woman can only eat so many fried balls of cookie dough. The dough makes excellent cookies, as well.

Cookie Dough Ingredients

2 sticks of butter

1 cup white sugar

1/4 cup pale malt syrup

1/4 cup St. Arnold's Winter Stout (or any great stout beer you can get your hands on)

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour 

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 and 1/2 cups oats

3/4 cups chocolate chips mixed with butterscotch chips

Pro Tip!

You can buy a tiny, six dollar jar of malt syrup at the grocery store, OR, if you have a home brew shop in town, you can get a pound of pale malt syrup for a couple of bucks. What to do with the extra malt syrup? Make bagels! The dough is boiled in malt syrup to create that pretty shine.

Pro Tip!

The egg in the dough will not be cooked, because the middle of the UFOs are just gooey, melty, delicious cookie dough. If you're worried about salmonella, use Egg Beaters or pasteurized eggs. 

Beer Batter Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

Approximately 1 and 1/2 cups stout beer (this amount depends on the moisture in the air, etc. You'll know if your batter seems too thick and sticky that you'll need to add more beer.)

Start out by creaming the sugar and butter together in your mixer on medium speed until it's light and fluffy, like so.

Turn off the mixer and add the malt syrup, stout, egg and vanilla. You'll find that the malt syrup has the messy consistency of Ghostbusters ectoplasm and manages to coat your entire kitchen. This is to be expected. Pets come in handy at these times. Mix until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder. While the mixer is going, alternate adding portions of the flour mixture and the oats.

Pro Tip!

Don't forget to pause to periodically scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula so that everything gets mixed. 

On low speed or by hand, add the chocolate and butterscotch chips. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least two hours. 

To Make Cookies:

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Take the chilled cookie dough and form into balls a little bigger than an inch in diameter. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until the bottom looks brown. Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then loosen off the sheet with a spatula and move to a cooling rack. Continue cooling on the rack until you cannot help but eat one. They are SO GOOD. 

To Make UFOs:

Start heating your peanut or canola oil to 375 F, unless you have an easy peesy and super adorable miniature deep fryer like I have, with automated temperature.

While the dough is chilling and the oil is heating, make the batter. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl with a fork or whisk. Add the beer and beaten egg and mix together until you've got no lumps bigger than a pea. Adjust the amount of beer as necessary to achieve the consistency of pancake batter.

Allow the batter to sit for 10 minutes before using.

Now the fun part!

Take the chilled cookie dough and form into discs a little less than two inches in diameter and about half an inch thick. Roll them in flour until they are completely covered, and then dust off all excess flour. 

Dip the floured cookie dough balls into the beer batter. Make sure they are completely covered in batter or the dough will leak out into the oil when you are frying. That will leave you with a hollow ball of fried. That may sound awesome, but it's not AS awesome as what we're trying to do here.

Remove the dough balls with a fork or slotted spoon to drain the excess batter. 

Fry in 375 F canola or peanut oil for three minutes or until golden brown. 

Pro Tip! 

If you're using a pot of boiling oil and a thermometer to fry, don't let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan. It will be recording the temperature of the pan, not the oil, and you'll be half-frying your UFOs in oil that isn't hot enough.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and drizzle with malt syrup. Eat pretty much immediately; UFOs are best when hot! They have the light, crispy consistency of a beignet and, oh man. They are so delicious. Award-winningly delicious! 

I cannot BELIEVE I didn't take a picture of the inside of the UFO. Once you bite into the crunchy, golden shell, you'll be treated to a warm, gooey inside of melted chocolate, butterscotch and oats. I will never forgive myself for forgetting to document this vital part of the process, which means YOU GUYS will have to pick up the slack. Make some UFOs and take some pictures! E-mail them to me at [email protected]! I'll reward the first person to do so with a prize--the coveted Wonder Cup Two Cup Adjustable Measuring Cup featured in every one of these blogs and some super cute nesting doll measuring spoons

So get to baking, and we'll see you next time when I wander into the new (to me) and mysterious world of PIES to bring you a pear and gruyere-crust pie inspired by Pushing Daisies!

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