Last summer, cookie company Wackym’s Kitchen, Dallas, moved into a new 10,000-sq-ft facility and made a friend in the neighborhood. Located just down the street, Lakewood Brewing Co. is known for The Temptress Imperial Milk Stout that is the No. 1 craft stout in Texas. The geographical proximity of these two companies became the tipping point for a collaboration.
“Teaming up with Lakewood Brewing for a new cookie is a perfect marriage of two brands because Wackym’s Kitchen is known for crunchy, buttery artisanal cookies with unique and adventuresome flavor combos, and Lakewood Brewing also loves to create new and interesting beer flavors,” said Paul Wackym; founder, owner and master baker; Wackym’s Kitchen.
The bakery’s 38th cookie variety, The Temptress, has a flavor of chocolate, molasses and vanilla — mirroring the milk stout — and features an earthy taste from some of the molasses. It’s not artificially flavored or preserved and uses ingredients such as real butter, cane sugar, cage-free eggs and unbleached flour. The cookie can also be paired with milk, coffee or a beer such as the craft stout of the same name, according to Mr. Wackym.
It wasn’t easy turning a popular ale into a beloved cookie. “The formulation was one of the most challenging I have faced in the 11 years of developing recipes for Wackym’s Kitchen, taking nearly six months to get it right,” Mr. Wackym said. “I made a lot of bad cookies — none of them were crave-ready — so the process wasn’t not done.”
To replicate the stout’s flavor profile, Mr. Wackym experimented with hops and malted barley, which he discovered were too aggressive. Next, he tried wort, a liquid biproduct of the brewing process, which he found difficult to balance the flavor. The final experiment proved the winner: He used the actual imperial milk stout and combined it with other ingredients.
The Temptress was tested at the Coppell Farms Market, where Wackym’s Kitchen introduces most of its products. After being received with enthusiasm, the cookie became part of grocery store Central Market’s Big Tastes of Texas event in May. Now it’s sold in an 8-oz package, which includes 26 to 30 cookies, at many Central Market locations, Lakewood Brewing Co. and through wackymskitchen.com. Mr. Wackym seeks to spread it across new markets as it builds momentum.
And it is building momentum. Although The Temptress is currently a seasonal cookie, the successful response gives Mr. Wackym hope to turn it into a mainstay. “It was very interesting to see product recognition,” he said. “The Temptress Imperial Milk Stout itself has a very passionate following. Those who loved The Temptress glommed right onto the cookie in a heartbeat.”
Although there are no plans for a second beer cookie, Mr. Wackym noted that Lakewood Brewing has a list of uncommon beers, including different flavors of The Temptress. “Lakewood Brewing has many more, and like us, they will continue to introduce creative beer flavors, and that in turn provides us with additional opportunities to work together.”