Friday, March 16, 2012

Guinness Brownies with Irish Buttercream Frosting

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We're going to a family party on Sunday and I've spent the last few days scouring Pinterest looking for green desserts to bring. I found lots of fun things, but no one recipe had everything I was looking for. Enter Guinness Brownies with Irish Buttercream.

To make the brownies, I turned to an old recipe that's been in my family for years and years, made famous (at least to us) by my cousin Meg. When we were kids, every time Meg came over my sister and I would beg for a batch of her brownies. They are chewy, moist and amazingly delicious.

I changed up the recipe quite a bit to use ingredients that I had (e.g., I prefer butter over margarine, and I couldn't find bittersweet chocolate anywhere), and so that I could incorporate some Guinness flavor without changing the fudgie texture of the brownies.

The smell of Guinness bubbling away on the stove is so wonderful. It smells like butter and caramel, and tastes like it too.

The frosting is a basic buttercream, but I swapped out milk and vanilla for Irish Cream. If you don't like a strong Irish Cream flavor, just use half IC and half milk. It'll still be festive, and delicious.

Guinness Brownies with Irish Buttercream

1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups Guinness
8 oz. semisweet baking chocolate
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 batch Irish Buttercream (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring the Guinness to a boil on medium-high heat; once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer about 25 minutes, or until the beer has reduced by a little more than half.

Meanwhile, melt butter and chocolate together in a pan over low heat, stirring constantly (make sure the heat is low so the chocolate doesn't get too hot). In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. When chocolate is melted, remove from heat and add sugar. Then add the eggs and stir well with a wire whisk. Add the flour and stir well. Finally, add the reduced Guinness.

Pour batter into a greased 13x9 inch metal pan. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean. They are moist and chewy, so the toothpick will not be completely clean. Cool completely before cutting or frosting.

Once brownies are cool, frost with Irish Buttercream.

Irish Buttercream

3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons Irish Cream
20 drops green food coloring

Cream together powdered sugar and butter. Add the Irish Cream and blend until smooth. Add the food coloring and continue blending until the frosting is green.

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