Well, some time last week, an ex-pat friend of ours (Brit in Canada) posted on Facebook that he missed Irn Bru. What better excuse could I have come up with? I know from homesickness (even if one wouldn't refer to that particular instance as homesickness), and he seemed to be having a crap week on top of that, so I offered to make him some Irn Bru cookies. He seemed pleased by the idea, so I was like, YEAH LET'S DO THIS!
I did some research into using soda as a flavouring for baked goods and came across this post on grape soda cupcakes from Kelly of The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur. I also looked for the right cookie recipe. I finally settled on Kelly's recipe for Amazingly Soft Sugar Cookies. I basically made an Irn Bru reduction and replaced most of the liquid with the reduction. Kelly very kindly agreed to let me post her recipe with my minor changes, so here it is.
sorry about the crap pic - I was running late for work
Irn Bru Cookies
(recipe adapted from Amazingly Soft Sugar Cookies in The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur by Kelly Peloza)
- 4 c Irn Bru
- 3/4 c margarine
- 1 1/4 c sugar
- 1/2 c soy yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 c Irn Bru reduction (plus more if needed)
- 4 c flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350F/175C. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls in your hand and then smoosh them down (alternatively, you can roll and cut them). Place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes or until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before icing.
For the icing: Dump a good amount of icing sugar into a bowl and add about 3 tbsp Irn Bru reduction. Beat with a fork until smooth. It should be pretty thick - if it isn't, add more icing sugar. Dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the icing and place on cookie sheets to firm up. If you're awesome like me, make another batch of glaze and double dip those bad boys once the first round of icing is set.
The whole process takes a few hours, but it'll probably be easier and faster the second time around since I know what I'm doing (and hopefully won't be having an allergy attack like I did this time).
After all that, I never got my friend's address! But his loss was everyone else's gain - I gave the cookies I took in for shipping to my co-workers, and Mike ate the rest (about a dozen in one night - he really liked them).
I imagine this would work for other types of soda-based cookies, so I might give it a try with something else. And I might also try to reduce the Irn Bru even further for a stronger flavour - even with the reduction instead of the straight soda, the flavour was still pretty mild. Any ideas what I should try next?