I actually made these a while ago for a Superbowl party Matt and I went to, but I thought they would be PERFECT for a St. Patrick’s Day treat! The brownie is actually pretty bitter. They are sweet, but there is also a bottle of beer in them. The contrast between the sweet butterscotch frosting and the bitterness of the brownies was awesome. I really enjoyed them and they went over very well with Matt’s co-workers. The batter before it is baked is pretty runny, but once baked is nice and fudgy!
I’m personally not a huge fan of Guinness, which is what the original recipe called for. Matt and I really enjoy Wisconsin’s microbreweries and tried a beer that was new to us from one of our favorite breweries, the Capital Dark – a dark lager from Capitol Brewery. It’s probably my favorite dark beer so far, but Matt especially liked the leftover beers as he prefers darker beers than me.
The recipe called for a stand mixer, but I didn’t feel like lugging it out for the brownie base. I made the batter in the saucepan I used to melt the butter and sugar and just used a whisk for everything. I ended up with the final batter in the saucepan, extra bonus was one less bowl to clean! Also, the original recipe called for mini pretzels on top of the brownies, and I had even bought the pretzels to use, but we liked them without the pretzels and opted not to use them this time.
Recipe (From The Little Epicurean)
These make a 9 ½ x 13 inch pan
For the Brownies
- 3 oz butter
- 8 oz dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli dark chips)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup dark beer
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line the 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper. Melt butter and chocolate in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Stir in the sugars once the butter and chocolate are melted. Remove from the heat. I preferred to let the mixture cool a bit before adding the eggs to prevent scrambling the eggs. I whisked in the eggs quickly one at a time. If you are concerned, transfer the chocolate, sugar, and butter to a stand mixer or use a hand mixer before adding the eggs.
Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, and salt together in a separate bowl. Add the dry mixture, alternating with the beer to the chocolate mixture (start and end with dry). Lastly mix in the mini chocolate chips. Transfer the batter to the lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until the toothpick test works. Let the brownies cool completely before adding the frosting.
For the Butterscotch Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
In a sauce pan melt the butter and brown sugar together. Continue to heat over medium heat until sugar mixture starts to boil. Simmer for 1-2 minutes then remove from the heat and mix in the salt.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a separate bowl with a hand mixer add in the powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla. The mixture will become paste like, then slowly pour in the butter-sugar mix. Continue to beat until it is combined then immediately pour over the cooled brownies and spread to cover in an even layer.
Note: this frosting made a pretty large batch, you may not want to add it all to the brownies, but I thought the thicker layer of frosting helped to balance the bitter-ish brownies.