As I navigated my way through the world of beer, wine, and spirits, I quickly realized what I liked and what I didn’t. Hard lemonade = no bueno. Whiskey? The surprising like. Vodka? Talk about highway to hell. Flavored liqueurs (especially Midori)… hook me up to an IV with it.
But the one I didn’t delve into a whole lot were the cream liqueurs like Bailey’s. No reason why, just didn’t manage to get a hold of a bottle. But when I did, I realized this creamy, dessert-y drink is best paired with something equally sweet, like frosty ice cream, a glaze on spiced donuts, or, say, a fudge brownie recipe like this one.
If you’re like me and don’t have much experience with Bailey’s, or if it’s been awhile, let me remind you of what you’re getting yourself into. Bailey’s is a rich and creamy spirit that’s composed of a heavenly blend of Irish whiskey and cream-based liqueur that’s spicy, sweet, and totally mind-blowing. While some people enjoy it straight or on-the-rocks, I prefer mine laced in desserts since the liqueur pairs so beautifully with sweeter flavors, like chocolate, caramel, and spice. Bailey’s also has other flavors, too, like Salted Caramel, Vanilla, and even Chocolate Cherry, but this recipe uses the original to really drive home that decadent Irish cream flavor.
But don’t take my word for it. Take yourself back to your 21st year and make yourself these brownies! I think you’ll quickly discover a newfound love!
- 1 box fudge brownie mix, plus ingredients on back of box
- ¼ cup hot fudge sauce
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup Bailey's Irish Cream Original Liqueur
- 2 Tbsp milk or heavy cream
- About 2-3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, prepare the brownie batter according to package directions. Stir the hot fudge sauce and cinnamon into the brownie batter to combine.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake according to package directions, about 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Do not over-bake. Cool completely in the pan.
- While brownies cool, prepare your frosting. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Allow the butter to melt completely, then carefully watch it during the browning process. Over the next 5-7 minutes, the butter will begin to sizzle, foam and pop, eventually turning an amber color. Watch it closely to prevent it from burning, until the butter is a deep amber color with brown flecks in it. Remove the pan from the heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl to cool completely.
- Once butter has cooled, combine it with the Bailey's liqueur, milk or heavy cream, and powdered sugar, stirring vigorously until a thick yet spreadable frosting is achieved. You want it thicker than a glaze, but something you can spread rather than pour. Add more powdered sugar if necessary.
- Spread the frosting over the cooled brownies. Allow the frosting to set, approx. 20 minutes or so at room temperature, before cutting into squares. Serve immediately.
- **For an alcohol-free version, feel free to substitute the Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur with Irish Cream-flavored coffee creamer instead. Bailey's makes a fabulous coffee creamer that tastes like Irish Cream but sans alcohol.**
These are so freakin’ good, you guys! I love the rich creaminess of the brown butter & Bailey’s frosting – it is so luxuriously decadent and sweet, flecked with all those golden brown butter nuggets and scented with the indulgent hint of whiskey. Amazing!
**For an alcohol-free version, feel free to use Bailey’s Irish Cream Coffee Creamer in place of the liqueur. The flavor is the same, minus the alcohol. Use equal parts coffee creamer for the liqueur in the frosting recipe, and proceed as directed.**