Guinness and Mint Brownies
I am in New York City. My first trip here back in high school made me fall in love with how easy it was to disappear. There are people everywhere, but those people see you as faceless. You can walk down the street unnoticed, blending into the pavement as you attempt to not get run over by fast-moving taxis, stare through the dark tint of your sunglasses, which makes it appear as though you're expressionless at all times.
It's the introvert in me that appreciates how easy it is to blend in in New York City, and yet, there are some people who refuse to become one of the masses. Today, for instance, as I was walking to grab a Salty Pimp at Big Gay Ice Cream, I passed a red-headed man about my age, shirtless, his pants sagging down far enough to realize he wasn't wearing much underneath them, his red curly chest hair blazing in the sun.
He was pushing around a cart decorated in green and holding a sign above his Carrot-Top-like head of hair that read: Kiss Me, I'm Irish. And as I passed by a few feet away he screamed, while twisting his bare nipple, "Or you can bite me nipple!"
St. Patrick's Day always seems to bring out the eccentric folk. It causes entire cities to get in the spirit of the day, partying with parades, green rivers, and plenty of beer. And it wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day without a bit of Guinness, baked into a tray of brownies and showing off the Ireland green right on top.
Guinness Mint Brownies
For the brownies:
1 cup Guinness Draft Beer
1 ½ sticks butter, melted
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/ 2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon mint extract
4 drops green food dye, if desired
1 ½ cups Andes Mint pieces
Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease a 9x13" pan. In a small saucepan over medium heat, reduce the Guinness until it is about 1/4 cup of thick liquid. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together melted butter and sugar. Lightly beat the eggs just until blended and add eggs and vanilla to the bowl and mix to combine. Stir in the reduced Guinness. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, and then add the flour mixture to the sugar. Spread the batter into the pan.
In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 egg, mint extract and food dye until smooth. Spread over the top of the brownie mixture in the pan. Sprinkle with Andes Mint pieces.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until brownies are set. Cool completely, cut into bars and serve.
Makes 2 dozen brownies
Celebrate with these other St. Patty's Day recipes: