If you're a regular reader of Gingersnaps, you're tired of hearing me whine and make excuses for holidays flying past, either without accompanying posts, or with ridiculous after-the-fact posts under the weak notion that it will come in handy next year. Check it out! This holiday is different! I vowed to assemble a St. Patrick's Day post in time for March 17th, and I've actually done it. Behold my Guinness Brownie Cakes with Butterscotch Frosting and Salted Pretzels; they are decadent, delicious, and also festive. Plus, they just pair oh-so-well with a nice pint.
Google "Guinness Brownies" and you'll find about 1,000 variations of the same recipe. I decided to not reinvent the wheel here, so I cheated. I used (gasp!) a boxed dark chocolate brownie mix, but swapped 1 cup of the water called for in the mix for some stout. To up the flavor, I reduced 2 cups of Guinness to 1 cup over medium heat on the stove before swapping for water. Beer > Water, any day. For the full recipe and assembly, see below.
Happy (Early) Saint Patrick's Day!
Easy Guinness Brownies
1 box dark chocolate brownie mix, and necessary ingredients
2 cups Guinness stout
Miniature cake pan or muffin pan
Prepare a dark chocolate boxed brownie mix according to directions, omitting 1 cup of water. Add 2 cups of Guinness to a saucepan over medium heat, and reduce to 1 cup of liquid. Add cup of Guinness to brownie mix, and bake as directed, ideally in this pan. If you don't want to be a little silly and buy this pan, you can use muffin tins and improvise. After the brownies have baked and cooled completely, slice into 1/3 to 1/2" rounds.
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
Melt butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar melts and begins to bubble. At this point, continue stirring for 2 minutes. Stop if sugar mixture begins to darken or smell burnt.
Slowly add heavy cream, stirring constantly for another 2 minutes, until mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and beat in confectioners sugar with hand mixer until peaks form in the frosting. If frosting is dry, add more cream. If frosting is loose, add more confectioners sugar.
Assembling the Cakes
Layer cooled and sliced brownie rounds with spread dollops of frosting. Top final layer with generous frosting layer, and sprinkle with crumbled salted pretzels.