Maple Cream Frosted Spent Grain Cookies


Nutty, spent grain peanut butter cookies, studded with chocolate chips, are frosted with thick, spreadable Roxbury Mountain Maple maple cream for a truly winning combination. There’s nothing better than finding a delicious way to use up a byproduct of making beer at home!

Why hello there! Do you remember me? Thank you so much for being incredibly patient while I’ve been away. A lot has changed! Todd and I moved from the little rental house we’ve lived in the last year and half into our brand-new, custom home smack in the middle of the woods here in Alaska. It’s been an absolute dream come true to live in a home that we literally drew up on printer paper; designed by us, in a location we adore. I can’t wait to fill it with memories and laughter and of course delicious vegan food! 

Speaking of food… Todd has started brewing beer. Like, for real brewing beer. He’s dabbled a little with it before, but one of his good friends who just moved up from the states had all the equipment and the boys went to town. Literally. To get beer supplies… and then I came home to them standing on top of our brand-new counter in our brand-new kitchen doing god knows what (checkout the nonsense in this Instagram photo) with valves and hoses and funnels and bottles of sanitation liquid and grains. It’s the last part I got excited about.

Todd’s friend, who I will now refer to as Paco Burrito, (because I know he does not prefer to have his name on the internet) told me how he’d make bread with the spent grains after brewing beer. I thought this was very intriguing, especially relieving since I am the worst about wasting anything. I was excited to try this bread that Paco Burrito makes but I didn’t want to wait for bread. Such is life. But what’s better than bread? Not much, though cookies are definitely up there… and they only take about 30 minutes from top to bottom. 

Okay, you might be wondering, “Why exactly is spent grain?” It’s “the leftover malt and adjuncts after the mash has extracted most the sugars, proteins, and nutrients, and can constitute as much as 85 percent of a brewery’s total by-product.” Breweries are starting to find ways to use it, instead of just tossing it. In fact, Alaska Brewing Company uses it as fuel to run their special boilers! It’s actually really interesting; read more here.

The grain goes into a cheesecloth that submerged is in the beer liquid and then removed when the beer is done doing it’s cooking stuff. I understand that’s not terribly technical but I don’t really know that much about beer making. I’m just after the spent grain. #beermakingnovice #givemeallthespentgrain

Spent grain is toothsome, terrifically nutty, and somewhat bitter. This brings us to why I really wanted to make cookies. To frost them with maple cream, which is the absolute perfect compliment to spent grain. From now on spent grain and maple errrrrything. You’ve been warned. The spent grain, alone, is not entirely pleasant and maple cream, while delicious alone, is sweet enough to bring on a headache if enough of it is consumed in one sitting (yes, I speak from experience). But together, sweet Lincoln’s mullet, it is a combination for the ages. 

If you’re not in on the homebrew game, no worries. Just pick up a small package of grain cereal mix and add a bit of water until it’s just dampened. 

Maple cream is maple syrup that’s basically that’s been boiled, then chilled, and then stirred until it becomes thick, maple butter. It’s one of the most amazing things. I’ve eaten it plain, stuffed into dates, slathered on toast, sandwiched between two gingersnaps, and of course as a frosting for cookies. As it’s concentrated, spreadable maple syrup, I don’t recommend using it in anything that will heat it considerably because the cream will pretty much just melt back into maple syrup…thus making it’s purpose of being spreadable, obsolete. In those instances use just regular maple syrup. Maple cream is best where it’s flavor and texture is allowed to shine!

Roxbury Mountain Maple generously supplied me with samples of their 100% natural and vegan maple cream, maple syrup, and maple sugar (can’t wait to roll cookies in it!). Roxbury Mountain Maple is owned and run by the Holscher family on an old farm in the Catskill Mountains. I was delighted to be contacted by Ben Holscher. It’s exciting to know exactly where our food comes from and from who! Read more about the family and their sugarhouse on their website. Roxbury Mountain Maple products are available on Amazon and most are Prime eligible as well! They even have a maple caramel popcorn. I might have to get some of that… Todd’s two obsessions in one!

Maple Cream Frosted Spent Grain Cookies

Recipe by Kathleen Henry @ Produce On Parade

Nutty, spent grain peanut butter cookies, studded with chocolate chips, are frosted with thick, spreadable Roxbury Mountain Maple maple cream for a truly winning combination. There’s nothing better than finding a delicious way to use up a by-product of making beer at home!

Yield: ~ 24 cookies


  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegan granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegan brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp maple extract (optional, I always add this to cookies)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or substitute 1 cup AP and 1 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cup spent grains or grain cereal/mix (damp, see note)
  • 1 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • slathering of maple cream, for frosting

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large electric mixing bowl, beat the peanut butter through the maple extract on medium-low speed until well combined; scraping down the sides as needed.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour through the salt. Next, stir in the spent grains. While the mixer is on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roll the cookie dough into golf-ball sized balls. Place on the cookie sheet about 1-2 inches apart, these won’t spread much, and press each down lightly with a fork. I did not coat my baking sheet and the come off beautifully. Bake for about 10 minutes, until just slightly golden brown. Remove from the pan and allow to rest on a wire cooling rack for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Once the tops are firm enough, frost each cookie with maple cream. Try not to eat them all in one sitting. Store in an air-tight container.

Have you ever had maple cream? How do you like to use it? I’m trying desperately not to polish off the jar with a spoon, it’s so good! Help! Have you ever used spent grain? I’m really curious. Any recipe suggestions for the stuff is welcome! I’m thinking bread and muffins will be next.

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