There's no way around it: these brownies are ridiculously indulgent. Moist, super dense, super chocolate brownies, baked with a Guinness Stout reduction that gives them an earthy dark depth, brushed with Bailey's cream, you know, to lighten things up, and then topped with more Bailey's in a brown butter icing party. And no, that isn't a typo in the title. I meant "brownie fudge" not "fudge brownie," because these rest solidly somewhere between fudge and brownie...and probably more fudge than brownie!
I call the base for this recipe my "boozy brownies." I've done a a few variations (like Kahlua, and a Peanut butter and Creme de Cacao version). They are baked with alcohol, brushed with alcohol, and iced with alcohol. It's hard to go wrong here! Because I was subbing Guinness for the liqueur in this recipe, I decided to boil the beer down into a reduction to concentrate the flavor and insure against the increased water content throwing things off.
I was hoping these babies would last until St. Patrick's Day festivities, but between the taste-testing and attempts to take photos, the pan is already half gone! My little 2yo baking/blog assistant kept snatching brownies as I tried to take photos. Let's just say, I think she's going to rest easy tonight... :)
Guinness Brownie Fudge with Bailey's Brown Butter Icing
[For Guinness Brownie Fudge]
1 bottle/can of Guinness Stout (roughly 12 oz, or 1 1/3 cup)
2 cups semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips work just fine)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cubed
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (scant, if using salted butter)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
[For Bailey's Brown Butter Icing]
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (plus more, as needed)
Make Brownies. Pour the Guinness into a saucepan set over high heat and boil until it reduces to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. (Tip: you can pour the Guinness into a pyrex measuring cup to check the status, and then pour it back into the pot to keep boiling.) Set aside to cool.
Place the chocolate and cubed butter into a large microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second bursts, stirring thoroughly after each one, until completely melted. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; line a 9x9 inch pan with foil and grease.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and brown sugar. Slowly pour in cooled Guinness reduction and whisk until combined. Add in the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Dump in flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan, spread evenly, and bake at 350 degrees for 40-43 minutes. The top will be just slightly cracked, and a toothpick inserted near the center will come out with a little fudgey batter on the bottom...that's good! You want these to be fudgey!
When the brownies come out of the oven and are still piping hot, brush them with the 2 tablespoons of Bailey's Irish Cream. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
Prepare the frosting. Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a saucepan set over medium low heat. Once the butter is melted, swirl the pan gently as the butter bubbles, and the turns golden brown. Remove from the heat as it turns a deep gold and smells deliciously nutty.
Whisk into the browned butter 3 tablespoons of Bailey's Irish Cream. Whisk in the powdered sugar, about 1/2 a cup at a time, until you have a smooth, spreadable icing. Pour over brownies, and set them in fridge to chill. When ready to serve, lift out the foil and cut into lovely fudgey squares.
Note: I like to serve these cold, and I think the flavors are better the next day, although they are darned delicious anytime. I've also found they freeze pretty well.
The Brownie Thief:
Baking with Babies!
Inspired by Recipe Girl's Kahlua Brownies.