Making these beer brownies for the first time
I’ve got a treat for you all today: BEER BROWNIES. Yes, like brownies, with beer in them. And on them, because beer frosting. BEER FROSTING, GUYS. BEER. FROSTING. They come from the genius mind of my dear blogging friend Christina Lane, who just released a new cookbook, Sweet and Simple: Dessert For Two.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Christina’s blog is all about small-batch desserts. It’s genius. Like, if she didn’t have a baking blog on small desserts, I’d totally make a baking blog on small desserts. Christina and I became blogging friends years ago when we instantly connected over our love of — naturally — baked goods. So when she asked me to share a recipe from her new cookbook, I instantly said yes!
Choosing what to make was the hard part. The cookbook is filled with half-batch cookies, bars made in loaf pans, and tiny cakes. Swoon! But as soon as I saw her recipe for Beer Brownies, I knew I had to make ’em.
The night I made these babies I messaged Christina, saying “K I’m kind of annoyed with how good your beer brownies are.” Which is saying a lot, because as we all know I am a self-proclaimed brownie connoisseur. But it’s the damn truth: these brownies are insane!
The beer frosting is really what got me. It’s so unique. It’s weird because it has that slightly fermented taste, which I understand doesn’t sound very appealing, but put on top of the brownies is a perfect complement to their rich sweetness.
I topped my beer brownies with mini chocolate chips for an extra crunch, but they’re just as good without them. And if you’re looking for an even quicker version of these babies, you could omit the frosting altogether. But I wouldn’t recommend it because it’s that good.
Tips for making these beer brownies
These fudgy brownies are super simple and require very little hands-on prep work. But keep these things in mind when you whip up a batch of these bad boys:
Use a dark beer — For the richest flavor, I recommend using a dark beer (such as a stout) for this recipe. Of course, feel free to experiment based on your own preferences. And if you find another beer that you like better in these brownies, please let me know so I can try it for myself!
Keep an eye on the beer concentrate — Yep, you read that right. You’re gonna be making beer concentrate for these brownies. To make the beer concentrate, you just simmer a cup of beer over low heat until it reduces. Whatever you do, do NOT walk away from the simmering beer, as it has a tendency to boil over.
Don’t substitute dark chocolate — I know what you’re thinking. The recipe calls for unsweetened chocolate, but dark chocolate is basically the same thing. Nope, sorry. Dark chocolate is still too sweet for this beer brownie recipe. Unsweetened chocolate can be found in the baking aisle, and it’s a must for this brownie recipe.
Don’t frost the brownies warm — You absolutely must wait for these beer brownies to cool completely before frosting them. Trust me, the wait is worth it!
Let’s give a huge round of applause to Christina on such a fantastic accomplishment. You go, girl!
Christina’s book, Sweet and Simple: Dessert for Two, is available to buy here.
These rich and fudgy beer brownies are topped with a creamy beer frosting. The perfect treat for the beer lovers in your life!
For the beer brownies:
- 1 cup dark beer (such as stout)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 large egg white
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
For the beer frosting:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted buter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon beer concentrate (see recipe below)
- Add the beer to a small saucepan and boil until it reduces to ⅓ cup. It will take about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it to prevent it from boiling over.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, cocoa powder, sugar, and unsweetened chocolate. Microwave on full power for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave for another 30 seconds. Let the mixture cool for 1 minute.
- Stir in 4 tablespoons of the beer concentrate, the egg white, vanilla, and salt.
- Finally, mix in the flour and stir for 50 strokes to incorporate and activate the gluten in the flour.
- Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. It's done when the surface is dry and an inserted toothpick has only moist crumbs sticking to it. Let cool.
- Once the brownies are cool, make the frosting. Beat together the softened butter and powdered sugar until combined. Beat in the remaining beer concentrate (1 tablespoon).
- Frost the brownies and serve.