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.
Course: Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine: Irish, American
Keyword: Beer Brownies, brownies, dessert, Fudge Brownies, St Patrick's day
1/2cup1 stick butter, softened (I used salted butter)
1 1/2cupspowdered sugarsifted if lumpy
2tablespoonsIrish Cream liquoror if desired, replace with heavy cream, whole milk or half & half
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.
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 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 stout reduction and mix to combine.
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.
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°.
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 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 (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.
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!
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.