Monday, May 13, 2013

Irish Brownies

As a child, I was definitely more of a cookie than a brownie gal. Something about the crunch of a cookie made me happier than the chewiness of a brownie. However, I would never say no to one of those brownies swirled with cream cheese. Cheese makes everything better, amiright?

Now that I'm a grown-up, I'm still more of a cookie lady, but cream cheese brownies still always get a yes... especially if those brownies are spiked with a little Guinness beer and Bailey's Irish cream. I made these for a St Patty's day party back in March, but they are appropriate anytime of the year.

Irish Brownies (adapted from A Spicy Perspective)
For brownies:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
dash of salt
4 tbsp butter
6 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
5 oz stout beer (like Guinness)

For cream cheese swirl:
4 oz neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat cream cheese)
3 tbsp sugar
1 egg white
2 tbsp Bailey's Irish cream

For ganache:
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 tbsp heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a 8 X 8 baking dish with foil.

Mix the flour, cocoa powder and salt in a small bowl. Place the bittersweet chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between, until melted.

Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the 1/2 cup sugar and 2 eggs together until light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate while the mixer is running. Slowly add the flour mixture. Finally mix in the beer. Pour into the prepared pan.

Beat the cream cheese and 3 tbsp sugar together until completely smooth. Add the egg white and Baileys and beat until smooth. Add to the top of the brownie batter and use a spatula to swirl together.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

Combine the the heavy cream and semi-sweet chocolate in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth (if needed microwave for another 30 seconds). Pour over the top of the cooled brownies and smooth. Refrigerate until the ganache has set.

Remove from the pan using the foil and cut into pieces.

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