Guinness brownies topped with butterscotch fudge and garnished with a crunchy salted pretzel.
Think beer is just for drinking? Think again!
Stout beer is a versatile ingredient. Use it to make stout bread! (Perfect for cheese sandwiches!)
Satisfy your sweet tooth with stout ice cream.
Or, make the ultimate game day brownies- Guinness brownies with butterscotch fudge and pretzel topping!
I first created this recipe for a Super Bowl party.
Beer and pretzels are bound to appear at every Super Bowl viewing party. Might as well add some chocolate to the mix! It’s a win-win situation.
These brownies are perfectly portioned for a quick bite-sized treat.
Each brownie bite is topped with one mini pretzel!
See the three distinct layers? It’s everything you could want in a dessert. Sweet, salty, crunchy, and just slightly bitter.
These Guinness brownies are dense and fudge-like in texture. The rich, luscious butterscotch fudge topping adds sweetness to the dark chocolate brownies.
And, the salty pretzel adds that much needed crunch!
Brownie Ingredients and Substitutions
These Guinness brownies use a combination of chopped dark chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder.
Use regular, plain unsweetened cocoa powder. It is often labeled as natural cocoa powder.
Stay away from CACAO powder. That’s an entirely different product.
Recipe calls for dark brown sugar. Dark brown sugar has a tad bit more molasses than light brown sugar.
Either sugar can be used. Dark brown sugar does provide a slightly richer flavor.
The recipe calls for three extra-large eggs. However, you use an equal amount of standard large eggs to achieve similar results.
The difference in amount between extra large and large is negligible for this recipe.
I prefer to use mini chocolate chips for this recipe. The mini version adds the perfect little bite of extra chocolate.
Feel free to sub in standard chocolate chips or chocolate chunks, if desired. However, it may be more difficult to achieve clean slices with the larger chocolate pieces.
Is Stout Beer Necessary?
Yes, the stout beer is a necessary.
The Guinness flavor is not overpowering. Much of the beer’s alcohol is cooked off during baking.
The chocolate batter and sweet butterscotch topping mellows out any bitterness from the stout beer.
No need to use Guinness. Use any stout beer you happen to have.
Depending on the season, there is a stout for every occasion!
There are cocoa-infused imperial stouts during Valentine’s Day, gingerbread stouts during the holiday season, and even bourbel barrel aged stouts around Father’s Day.
Take your pick and experiment!
Mixing Brownie Batter
- This recipe works in a 9×13-inch baking pan or two 8-inch square pans.
- Start by melting the butter and chopped chocolate stovetop. Alternatively, you may gently melt the ingredients in the microwave in intervals at half power.
- Add granulated sugar and brown sugar to melted mixture. Some of the sugar will dissolve.
- Transfer mixture to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or use an electric hand mixer and a large mixing bowl.
- Slowly incorporate eggs to batter, one at a time.
- Whisk dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Alternate adding dry ingredients and Guinness to batter. Start and end with the dry mixture.
- Fold in the chocolate chips. Then, transfer to prepared baking pan.
What’s the difference between butterscotch and caramel?
Butterscotch is simply made by melting together brown sugar and butter.
Caramel uses white sugar cooked to an amber color.
Turn butterscotch sauce into fudge by mixing it with powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar) with cream. The creamy fudge will harden and set over time.
The secret to these brownies are the salted pretzels that keep you coming back for more.
This recipe makes about 40 bite-sized pieces.
Storage and Leftovers
These Guinness brownies with butterscotch fudge are best served the same day they are assembled.
The exposed pretzels will stale overtime. If you plan of making these ahead of time (or want brownies that are better for leftovers), use chocolate cover pretzels for the topping.
Guinness Brownies with Butterscotch Fudge
- 3 oz unsalted butter
- 8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 3 extra large eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ¼ cup (10 oz) Guinness, or any stout beer
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
- salted pretzels, as needed to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9×13-inch pan baking with parchment paper. Grease and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over medium-low heat. Once melted, add sugar and brown sugar. Stir to combine. Remove from heat.
- Transfer batter to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
- Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Alternate adding dry mixture and Guinness to the batter. Starting and ending with the dry mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center of the brownie comes out clean. Let cool on rack.
- In a medium sauce pan, melted butter and brown sugar. Heat over medium heat until sugar mixture starts to boil. Let simmer for one minute. Then remove from heat. Add salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix confectioners sugar, cream and vanilla. Once mixture is paste like, slowly add the slightly cooled butter-sugar mix. Beat at low-medium speed until thoroughly combined.
- Immediately pour over cooled brownies and level with an offset spatula. If desired, place pretzels on top of fudge. Let fudge set before cutting. Serve same day.
- Any kind of high quality dark chocolate (meaning at least 55% cocoa) works. I recommend Ghirardelli intense dark chocolate bars, Lindt excellent bar, and Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bars.
- Use regular, plain unsweetened cocoa powder. It is often labeled as natural cocoa powder.
- Dark brown sugar has a bit more molasses than light brown sugar. Either sugar can be used.
- Recipe calls for extra-large eggs. However, you may use an equal amount of large eggs to achieve similar results.
- Mini chocolate chips slices easier than if you use standard chocolate chips or chocolate chunks.
- Serve same day. Pretzels will get stale overtime.
- If the brownies are going to sit out awhile, I suggest chocolate covered pretzels.