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Milk Stout Fudge Brownies with Irish Cream Buttercream

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A recipe for rich Milk Stout Fudge brownies with a delicate stout reduction that enhances the chocolate, notes of vanilla, brown sugar & coffee.

These fudgy brownies are topped with a thick layer of decadent Irish Bourbon Cream buttercream and topped with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. The perfect treat for your St. Patrick’s day celebration. Try one and you’ll be dancin’ an Irish jig; sure and begorra!

More delicious Irish recipes to try at the end of the post.

Pinterest image with stacked brownies topped with a thick layer of Irish Cream Buttercream.

First, I feel I must write a disclaimer on this post; I am not Irish, pretty sure not even a teensy bit.

But I have numerous Irish friends, my best friend since Kindergarten is Irish, my cousin married into a very Irish family, I sure love to listen to the beautiful Irish brogue, and visiting Ireland is most definitely on my bucket list; so I’m not sure why I feel the need to explain, I just do. Maybe it’s to encourage you regardless of your ancestry to give these a try…

Stacked Beer Brownies | www.thefreshcooky.com

Kind of weird putting beer in a brownie, right? Even if you are not a beer lover, or maybe not a stout kind of beer lover you will love these brownies!

And feel free to use other dark beers in place of the milk stout, I used Left Hand Brewing Co. Milk Stout Nitro which is a dark, rich beer, with chocolate, coffee, and vanilla notes.

Can I Use Other Beer

Yes, gives these varieties of beers, or your favorite!

  • Chocolate Stout
  • Vanilla Porter
  • Guinness (now you’re talking!)

What Can I Substitute for Stout Beer in a Recipe

  • Replace the stout with caramel or coffee instead to get the same flavor, but without the alcohol or beer-like aftertaste.
  • Use 1 tablespoon of caramel for every 1/2 cup of stout or use 1 cup coffee for every 1 cup of stout. (source)
Milk Stout Brownies with bite taken out  on a white plate that says "bite"

No need to buy an entire six-pack for this recipe; many stores these days (like Trader Joe’s) sell individual bottles of craft beer.

But if you do like a beer with hints of roasted coffee, brown sugar and vanilla cream, then buy a 4 or 6 pack, because you will want to enjoy a cold, frothy mug with your beer beef stew, or shepherd’s pie or banger’s and mash and maybe even your Milk Stout Fudge Brownie!

HOW TO MAKE MILK STOUT FUDGE BROWNIES

Preheat oven to 350° and line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper (or foil) leaving a couple inches of overhang. Spray with a little cooking oil, set aside.

Add the stout (beer) to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until reduced to about 1/4 cup. It’ll take about 5 minutes — don’t walk away, you don’t want it to burn. Swirl occasionally. When reduced, set aside to cool.

Milk Stout Nitro and Pot | www.thefreshcooky.com

In a medium saucepan, bring 1-2 inch of water to simmer, place a heat proof bowl that fits on the top of your saucepan (these Pyrex bowls work the best in my experience).

Cut butter into 1″ chunks; add to the heat proof bowl, toss your chocolate chips on top of the butter; carefully set the bowl over the simmering water (making sure the water doesn’t actually touch the bottom of the bowl).

Pouring chocolate chips over butter in double boiler | www.thefreshcooky.com

Stir occasionally, until mixture is melted and smooth.

Stir butter and chocolate to melt | www.thefreshcooky.com

Carefully transfer the melted chocolate mixture to a mixing bowl and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, you want it warm, not hot. To test, stick your knuckle in the mixture.

Add all-natural cane sugar, vanilla, and sea salt to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.

pouring all-natural sugar into chocolate mixture | www.thefreshcooky.com

Pour in reduced stout (beer) and mix to combine.

Pouring in reduced stout | www.thefreshcooky.com

Crack eggs into a small bowl (I love these), removing any shells, then add eggs to batter, one at a time. Mixing well after each addition, just until combined.

Pouring eggs into brownie mixture | www.thefreshcooky.com

Add in all-purpose flour and fold gently until flour is no longer visible and if desired, 1 teaspoon of espresso powder.

adding flour to brownie mixture | www.thefreshcooky.com

Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing batter evenly in pan.

pouring brownie batter into pan | www.thefreshcooky.com

Bake Stout Brownies for 40-55 minutes (check at 40) until toothpick inserted comes out clean or with a few crumbs. If using a dark or glass pan, reduce your oven temperature to 325°.

baked brownies | www.thefreshcooky.com

FUDGY vs. CAKEY STOUT BROWNIES

Brownies are tricky, if you like them cakey, leave in longer, if you like them fudgy, take them out sooner.

My rule of thumb for fudgy brownies; once the brownies have started pulling away from edges and are slightly dry; the center is not jiggly, but is a little glossy, remove brownies from oven. Personally I’d rather have gooey brownies than dry brownies. 

Transfer brownie pan to cooling rack and allow to cool completely. If you need to hurry the cooling process, allow to cool on cooling rack for 20-30 minutes, then transfer to freezer for 30 minutes.

Once completely cool, use the parchment or foil and remove brownie slab to a cutting board.

Stacked Beer Brownies with Irish Cream Frosting | www.thefreshcooky.com

IRISH CREAM BUTTERCREAM RECIPE

Add softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer (or hand mixer) fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

With mixer on low or stir, slowly add powdered sugar, if you have a pouring shield* attach before adding sugar. Beat on low speed until mixed into butter, then increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute, scrape down sides.

*If you are purchasing a pouring shield; be sure to triple check the mixer make, model and bowl size to make sure you order the correct size.

pouring in powdered sugar to frosting | www.thefreshcooky.com

Add sea salt, vanilla and Irish or Bourbon Cream beating on low speed until combined, then increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, stopping and scraping down sides once or twice. If desired, mix in 1 tsp espresso powder (optional). My favorite small liquid measure cup

Can I replace Irish or Bourbon Cream in Buttercream?

Absolutely! Use equal amounts of cream, half and half or milk!

pouring in Irish cream for frosting | www.thefreshcooky.com

Spread buttercream evenly over cooled brownies, sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt, this is my very favorite brand!

If you haven’t tried flaky sea salt on your baked goods, like these Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies or Triple Chip Pudding Cookies you are missing out — BIG TIME!

Cut into bars, serve with a cold glass of milk or your favorite — stout!

Fudgy Brownies with bourbon cream buttercream | www.thefreshcooky.com

How to Cut Brownies Clean and Even

Step 1 | Freeze the frosted brownies for 15-20 minutes

Step 2 | Remove from freezer and place on cutting board. Run a long knife under hot water for a minute or fill a tall glass with hot water and set knife in glass for a minute.

Step 3 | Wipe blade with paper towel to remove moisture and slice through brownies, return to hot water, repeating process until brownies have been cut.

The heated knife allows it to slice clean through the frosting without pulling on the frosting.

Oh and since you’ll have leftover stout, make up a loaf of Beer Bread or try this slow cooked, savory Beer Beef Stew or of course, Bangers and Mash a St. Patty’s day favorite! And for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration, mix up a couple of these Irish Mules.

For a comprehensive list of St. Patrick’s day menu ideas, check out my 35+ St. Patrick’s Day Recipes post.

Brownie recipe adapted from Cook Nourish Bliss.

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Yield: About 16 brownies

Stout Fudge Brownies (Beer Brownies)with Irish Cream Buttercream

Rich Milk Stout Fudge brownies with a stout reduction, enhances the chocolate, with notes of vanilla, brown sugar and coffee, topped with a thick layer of decadent Irish Cream buttercream and a sprinkle of sea salt. The perfect treat for your St. Patrick's day celebration.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Brownies

  • 1/2 cup milk stout (try chocolate milk stout, vanilla porter, Guinness or other dark beer)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into cubes (I used salted butter)
  • 10 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cups all-natural cane sugar (regular is fine too)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp espresso powder (optional)

For the Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (I used salted butter)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Irish Cream liquor (or if desired, replace with heavy cream, whole milk or half & half)
  • 1 tsp espresso powder (optional)

Instructions

Brownies

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper (or foil) leaving a couple inches of overhang. Spray with a little cooking oil, set aside.
  2. Add the stout (beer) to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until reduced to about 1/4 cup (my favorite small liquid measure cup). It'll take about 5 minutes -- don't walk away, you don't want it to burn. Swirl occasionally. When reduced, set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium saucepan, bring 1-2 inch of water to simmer, fit a heatproof bowl on the top of saucepan (these Pyrex bowls work the best in my experience). Cut butter into (roughly) 1" chunks; add to the heatproof bowl, toss your chocolate chips on top of the butter; carefully set the bowl over the simmering water (making sure the water doesn't actually touch the bottom of the bowl). Stir occasionally until the mixture is melted and smooth.
  4. Carefully transfer the melted chocolate mixture to a mixing bowl and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, you want it warm, not hot. To test, stick your knuckle in the mixture. Add all-natural cane sugar, vanilla, and sea salt to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Pour in stout reduction and mix to combine.
  5. Crack eggs into a small bowl (I love these), add eggs to batter, one at a time. Mixing well after each addition, until combined.Add in all-purpose flour and fold gently until flour is no longer visible. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing batter.
  6. Bake 40-55 minutes (check at 35-40) until toothpick inserted comes out clean or with a few crumbs. If using a dark or glass pan, reduce your oven temperature to 325°.
  7. Transfer brownies to cooling rack and allow to cool completely. If you need to hurry the cooling process, allow to cool on cooling rack for 20-30 minutes, then transfer to freezer for 30 minutes. Once completely cool, use the parchment or foil and remove to a cutting board.

Irish Cream Buttercream

  1. Add softened butter to bowl of a stand mixer (or hand mixer) fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. With mixer on low or stir, slowly add your powdered sugar, if you have a pouring shield* attach before adding sugar. Beat on low speed until mixed into butter, then increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute, scrape down sides.
  2. Add in sea salt, vanilla and Irish Cream or Bourbon Cream (substitute with heavy cream, milk or half and half and try a teaspoon of espresso powder), beating on low speed until combined, then increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, stop and scrape down sides once or twice.
  3. Spread Irish Cream buttercream evenly over cooled brownies, sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt, this is my very favorite brand! If you haven't tried flaky sea salt on your baked goods, like these Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies or Triple Chip Pudding Cookies you are missing out! Cut into bars, serve with a cold glass of milk or your favorite stout!

Notes

PRO TIP | To cut the bars into clean, even squares. Freeze the frosted bars for 15-20 minutes, remove from freezer and place on cutting board. Run a knife under hot water for a minute or fill a tall glass with hot water and set knife in glass for a minute. Wipe blade with paper towel to remove moisture and slice through brownies, return knife to hot water, repeating process until brownies are cut. The heated knife allows it to slice clean through the frosting without pulling.

Beer Substitutions | Try a chocolate stout, vanilla porter, Guinness, coffee stout or any dark, rich beer, or see post for non-alcoholic substitutions.

Brownies are tricky, if you like them cakey, leave in longer, if you like them fudgy, take them out sooner. My rule of thumb for fudgy brownies; once the brownies have started pulling away from edges and are slightly dry; the center is not jiggly, but is a little glossy, remove brownies from oven.

Brownie recipe adapted from Cook Nourish Bliss.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 264Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 103mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 1gSugar: 36gProtein: 4g

The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate, at times it pulls information for suggestions and options which may increase calories, etc.

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