I hadn't intended on making these brownies the focus of this week's post, but they turned out so damn good, I just couldn't help myself. We have an event at work with Pike Brewery coming up next month, and I became obsessed with the idea of making a brownie with their XXXX Stout. I'd seen Guinness cakes and things like that before, that's not quite what I had in mind. I wanted something a little more dense and rich, because the XXXX Stout packs a punch; it's dark and much hoppier than Guinness. The brownies end up a bit on the cakey side, but still quite decadent and the stout sticks around just enough to remind you it's there.
I found a cream cheese brownie recipe that I copied down from someplace or the other about four years ago, and I thought I could tweak it to make it fit my idea quite nicely. I thought I might end up having to make a few batches until I could find the right balance, but lucky for me, the first one turned out pretty awesome. I naively thought that one batch would be enough for me and Dallas, AND to share with my coworkers tomorrow, but what a fool I was. Two days later, and they're all but destroyed. Dallas "isn't even a sweets guy", but he definitely liked these bad boys. Lucky for us, they're quick and easy to whip up, and I forgot to take pictures the first time anyway.
So here goes batch number two of:
Cream Cheese Brownies with Pike XXXX Stout
- One cup Pike XXXX Stout
- 4 oz Semisweet Chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar, divided
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup Butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Salt (I used a course sea salt, for a crunchy, salty surprise!)
Cream Cheese Layer:
- 8 oz (1 package) Cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Place Beer in a pot on medium heat, add 1/3 cup brown sugar and reduce by half. This should take about twenty minutes. (The beer mixture will be thick enough to coat a spoon.)
- While the beer is reducing, you'll have time to mix up the cream cheese layer. Just simply beat the cream cheese, egg, and sugar together until fully incorporated. (You'll also have time to drink some of that leftover stout too if you so choose, I chose that.)
A food processor totally isn't necessary, but I have one and was feeling lazy.
- Once the beer is fully reduced (to be on the safe side, measure to make so you have a half cup of liquid) remove the pan from heat, and pour into a bowl.
- Add the chocolate and stir until it's melted. The liquid will be warm enough to melt the chocolate so you won't have to mess around with double boilers or any of that.
- Add the eggs, sugar and butter. Beat until incorporated.
- Add flour and salt last, and beat until the mixture is nice and smooth.
- Pour batter into a greased 8x8 pan.
- Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the top of the batter, do not stir.
Looks weird now, but just hang in there.
- Use a knife to draw a few lines through batter. This will mix them up just enough, and make it look real pretty.
Still looks kind of weird...
- Now we're done! Just bake it for thirty minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle, and let cool completely. (Or don't and burn your mouth cause you just can't wait, like I did.)
Thanks for coming back, and once again, if you make the recipe let me know how it turns out!!