Rich Milk Stout Fudge brownies with a stout reduction that enhances the chocolate, with notes of vanilla, brown sugar and coffee, topped with a thick layer of decadent Irish Cream buttercream and topped with a sprinkle of sea salt. The perfect treat for your St. Patrick’s day celebration.
- 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)
- Preheat your 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 (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.
- 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 your 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.
- 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 reduced stout (beer) and mix to combine.
- Crack your 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.
- Add in all-purpose flour and fold gently until flour is no longer visible.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing batter evenly in pan.
- Bake 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°.
- 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
- Add softened butter to the 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.
- Add in sea salt, vanilla and Irish Cream or Bourbon Cream (or 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.
- Spread your 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!
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 long 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 to heat knife in 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.
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.
*If you are purchasing a pouring shield (which my housekeeper and I highly recommend); be sure to triple check the mixer make, model and bowl size to ensure you order the correct size. **P.S. I’m the housekeeper!
© 2019 | This recipe for Milk Stout Brownies was featured first on The Fresh Cooky.
Brownie recipe adapted from Cook Nourish Bliss.
Keywords: Milk Stout Brownies, Irish Cream Buttercream, Brownies, St. Patrick's Day, Dessert, Guinness, Chocolate, Espresso, Holiday baking