Thursday, April 3, 2014

Its getting real around here...and some Guinness Brownies with Bailey's Buttercream

This week has been CRAZY! I know the all caps is it a bit extreme, but it just feels like there is no time to stop.  Sunday, Charles and I got back from California where I worked and he played.  Monday was half a day of work and half a day of getting ready for Taste of the Nation DC.  (A few pics from the event below. and OMG I ate so much!)  We have also been interviewing people in our office this week, planning for this year's Miles for Memories, sending out wedding invitations, which is a process in and of itself, and the best part is yet to come.  I am so excited to finally be going to New Orleans for the first time!  

I have to admit I am wayyy behind on posting these brownies.  I made them the week before St. Patty's day thinking I would be able to post them in celebration of it.  Well it clearly didn't happen and since St. Patty's day ended up being a snow day in DC, it was probably the first time I didn't wear any green on the day meant for green.  These brownies would have been perfect though, soft and chewy Guinness brownies topped with creamy Bailey's buttercream frosting and crunchy Heath bar pieces.  They would really be great anytime of year, but they are truly fitting for St. Patrick's Day.  Enjoy!

Just a few of the silent auction items from this week.

This was definitely my favorite cocktail of the night by Southern Efficiency called "The Sydney Town."

A great night for a great cause!  I can't wait until next year.

Down to the brownies...

Chocolate and Guinness what more do you need...well you know butter too.

Baking during the day is the best.  I do not get these pictures from my kitchen...instead I clean off the coffee table and set up shop there.  Oh yes...eggs, sugar and vanilla extract.

I left out the picture, but there is of course some flour and salt in these too but no baking powder or soda.

Getting up close and personal with these.

Guinness Brownies with Bailey's Buttercream: (recipe adapted from bon appetit)
3/4 cup stout (such as Guinness)
12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped, divided
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 full size heath bars, chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Line a 9 x 9 x 2 inch metal baking pan with foil, leaving a 2 inch overhang. 

2.  Bring stout to a boil in a medium sauce pan; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 12 minutes.  Let cool. Reserve 1/4 cup stout.

3.  Stir 12 oz. chocolate and 1 cup butter in a medium metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth.

4. Whisk sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in chocolate mixture, then 1/4 cup stout from pan.  Fold in flour and 1 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

5. Bake brownies until surface begins to crack and a tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 50 –60 minutes.  Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool.  Using foil overhang, lift brownie from pan.  While brownies are cooling prepare the frosting.

Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting:
1-8oz package 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 teaspoons Baileys
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth (2-3 minutes)

2.  Mix in the Baileys until well combined.

3.  With the mixer on low, mix in the powdered sugar one cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.  For this cake/cupcakes I wanted the frosting to be super creamy and for there not to be a lot on each piece.

To assemble:
Frost the cooled brownies with the butter cream frosting so that there is a nice thick layer of frosting.  Top with the chopped Heath bar.  Cut the brownies in desired size pieces, serve and Enjoy!  

*Store in an airtight container is not serving right away so that the frosting does not get hard and the brownies don't dry out.

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