It's a bit early, but I know you want to be prepared for St. Patrick's Day. Last year I highlighted Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes and Chocolate Stout Cake. Both good choices for the holiday.
There are plenty of chocolatiers that are 'Putting on the Green' for the Holidays with special bars, truffles and shamrocks. Check with your local chocolate shop...or I might list a few later in the week.
For now, here's an easy and delicious recipe for Guinness Stout Brownies I've adapted from About.com. The texture of these is fabulous: mousse, candy, fudge, cake. Just a note, you won't actually taste the beer, so have a pitcher on hand to drink.
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Scharffen Berger)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted room temperature sweet or Irish butter, cut into cubes
8 ounces dark 75% organic free trade chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup broken white chocolate (make sure it's cocoa butter white chocolate)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup superfine or granulated sugar
1-1/4 cups (10 ounces) Guinness Extra Stout beer (see Note below)
1 cup 60 % chocolate, broken into small pieces (or chocolate chips)
1/8 cup (about) confectioners' sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick foil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt until evenly combined. Set aside.
Melt butter, dark chocolate, and white chocolate in a double-boiler over very low heat, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add melted chocolate mixture, beating until combined.
Beat reserved flour mixture into melted chocolate mixture. Whisk in Guinness stout beer. The batter will seem a bit thin. Drop the 60% chocolate smaller bits of chocolate evenly on top of batter (some will sink in). You can use chocolate chips, if it's easier.
Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes on center rack in the oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.
Let brownies cool, uncovered, to room temperature. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.
Note: The Guinness should be at room temperature. This recipe uses a little less than a standard 12-ounce bottle of Guinness stout beer. Do not include foam in the measurement. Either spoon off the foam or let it rest until the foam subsides.
Pour yourself a big mug of Guinness and drink while making ...or drink with Brownies!