Where did April go?!
Last time I posted was April 9.
Most importantly, I missed the best day, April 30th when you can use the “It’s gonna be May” meme of Justin Timberlake.
I will tell you what happened in April that took a lot of mental power…
… I started training to run a half marathon in July! After training to start the actual training regimen, I was constantly doubting my ability to run that far. I was only focusing on the end goal, rather than my daily workouts. After two weeks of struggling, I have been able to feel more confident with my runs and have seen great improvement! I just didn’t realize that I have been using TWO of my sport bras since 2010. TIME TO RETIRE THAT STINKER! Not sure it is made for 4+ mile runs, yoga only.
My semester in school went by really well, as well. There was so much group work this semester. At one point I had work to do with 4 different groups of classmates.
Easter reeked havoc on my skin. I had far too much chocolate and I’m slowly still trying to get my diet back in order. With that being said, I was in no rush to make these brownies!
And to finish up all the butter we had in the house, I decided to make the Cinnamon Raisin Bread that I featured a while ago. This time I did not use raisins, and substituted about 1 1/4 c of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour. Still turned out very good. AND! I used the frosting from this recipe on the bread! VERY VERY GOOD!
It started with a trip to the Craft Beer Cellar to work with the Beer Geeks there to find good beers to use in the brownies! We ended up with a beer with a fruit undertone, a coconut brown ale, and an IPA.
Wheezin’ the Juice IPA by Grand Armory Brewing in Grand Haven, MI was excellent! My favorite beer to drink among the three straight from the bottle. I have just been starting to expand my taste buds into IPAs and this was delicious. It pours in a beautiful yellow/golden color and is refreshing. Not to mention, the can has an awesome design. We decided to use this in the frosting and not bake with it. We added a little orange zest to the frosting to enhance the flavor. We did not use this flat, instead we used it straight from the can. It made the frosting a little too frothy. I would recommend trying a different method! ABV 6.5%
Coconut Brown ale by Blackrocks Brewery in Marquette, MI was the beer we were using that would be a “sure-match” with the taste of chocolate. I was worried about the coconut because I’m not a huge fan, but the brewery kept it as a very low, and delicious fresh-nutty undertone that complimented the malt taste in this American Brown Ale. We used this directly from the can into the beer batter. This went well! When compared to the beer that was reduced, it resulted in a less dense flavor. I hope that makes sense. ABV 6.8%.
Three Philosophers by Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY was my favorite beer after it was mixed with the brownies. It had a very deep flavor that had a fruit undertone, but was difficult to tell which fruit exactly. Just a deep flavor. We reduced this beer from 1 cup to 1/3 cup. Tasted a little after it was reduced and it tasted really funny, but once it was baked in, the brownies were THICK and RICH and DENSE, which is OKAY WITH ME!!! ABV of 9.7% . I don’t know what quadruped means besides “charge extra for this beer.”
My girl EM and I baked for a while and reminisced about our semester abroad. We also had help from roommate and another friend. She also took these photos! EM – I am so proud of you and your photojournalism work! I cannot wait for you to take more awesome photos in ALASKA!
We took two recipes, added the best parts together and came up with this one. In the actual baking we forgot the second egg. It made the batter extra stiff so we loosened it with beer. Maybe try adding the second egg and things will turn out better for ya!
Here is the basic recipe! We doubled an original recipe because we needed three different batches.
Chocolate Beer Brownies
- 1/3 c of your choice of beer. If reducing, start with 1 cup**
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 c white sugar
- 4 oz quality chocolate
- 2 eggs
- 2 T cooking oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 c all-purpose flour
- ** if you choose to reduce the beer, start with 1 cup of beer over medium high heat. Reduce until 1/3 cup. Will take about 20 minutes. Watch and make sure the beer does not overflow.
- Melt butter, cocoa powder, sugar, and chocolate together in microwave or double boiler. Don’t burn! Put in stand mixer or large bowl. Let cool a little. (READ BELOW)
- After mix has cooled, add eggs, cooking oil, and vanilla – mix well.
- Add beer!
- Mix flour and salt together then fold into wet ingredients with rubber spatula until well combined.
- Line baking dish with parchment paper and spray. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Baking time will be about 20-25 minutes depending on thickness of your brownies.
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 ½-2 c powdered sugar
- Beat together butter and P. sugar until combined. Stir in beer. You may need to add more p. sugar to get to the consistency that you will need.
(NOTE FROM STEP 2):
So when we originally made this recipe, we added the cocoa powder to the flour, making it part of the dry ingredients. Other recipes for brownies call for you to mix the cocoa powder in with the “wet ingredients” (melted butter, chocolate…). I think either way you do this will work! Someone let me know if you try a different way!