Sunday, September 13, 2015

When Drinking Baileys Just Isn't Enough...

It's that glorious time of the year when the temps are falling and white girls everywhere are Instagramming their pumpkin spice lattes. While I will pumpkin spice all the things eventually, I'm too caught up in yelling at my TV because sitting at the precipice of Autumn means one wonderfully American thing: NFL football is back on TV, baby. My dogs are going to have to readjust to my fanatical screeching, as to my knowledge, doggy ear plugs have not been invented (if I just gave you your million dollar idea, I expect to be cut in for a substantial profit). I get extremely worked up over most sporting events (hockey, tennis, NASCAR, professional bowling...), but football will always take the cake for me. Well, in this case, it will always take the brownies for me. To celebrate the arrival of what SHOULD be fall weather (New Mexico has other ideas) and the return of football, I made a batch of brownies. But these aren't just any brownies, my dear readers. The brownies are filled with a layer of Baileys cream cheese.
Because sometimes, just drinking Baileys isn't enough.
I am almost entirely certain God put me on this Earth to try to find or create as many dessert + booze combinations possible and spread my creations on to mankind. A sort of dessert prophet, if you will. As of the posting of this blog, I have not been struck down by lightning nor has it started raining fire and brimstone, so I think I've made my point. Anyway, I know you're familiar with my Guinness chocolate cake with Baileys frosting, so you know that I keep a hearty stock of Irish cream in my home. I'm a firm believer that Baileys can fix just about any problem a person might have. Not a morning person? Some Baileys in that coffee will perk ya right up. Teenagers driving you crazy? A good Baileys buzz can make even the grumpiest of children tolerable. In a place where drinking Baileys isn't socially acceptable (shudder)? Eat it, instead!
Always keep spare chocolate on hand for emergency booze brownies.
I know, it looks like a lot of ingredients, but these are quite simple to put together. I found and made some changes to this recipe. You need:
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons of butter (you're gonna melt it, so no worries about coming to room temp)
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1 C semisweet chocolate chips
  • 8 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (I could only find giant jars of espresso powder, and I hate coffee, so the leftovers will exist until the end of time.)
  • 4 eggs
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 jelly roll pan or baking pan with cooking spray. If you want thinner brownies, go for the jelly roll pan. If you like thicker, jaw-stretching and/or possibly jaw dislocating brownies, use a 9x9 pan (and increase baking time). Start by breaking up the baking chocolate into small squares and nuke following package directions until softened (but not fully melted). Get a large pot and bring the sugar, butter, and water to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and immediately add in chocolate chips, baking chocolate, vanilla, and espresso powder. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Let this cool off for about 10-15 minutes so you don't scramble your eggs. I'd eat scrambled chocolate eggs, but this isn't that kind of fusion recipe, so mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl and then make your cream cheese filling to pass the time.
Cream cheese and Baileys...I could've just eaten this with a spoon.
To make the filling you'll need:
  • 2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese at room temp
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/3 C of sugar (or more if you like sweeter filling)
  • 1/4 C of Baileys (or more if you're not busy drinking while baking...kidding. But if you use more sugar, throw some more Baileys in there, too, so the flavor is still there.)
Ready for this? Throw everything in the mixer on medium/high for 3 minutes. That's it. It needs to be that simple in the event you have been sampling the sauce while putting together everything else. So easy, a drunk baker can do it! Now, once the chocolate mixture has cooled a bit, beat in each egg one at a time, and then slowly whisk in the dry flour mixture little by little until everything is incorporated. Take half of this chocolate batter and pour into your pan. Smooth out evenly like so:

Sadly, not enough batter to have any extra to lick. *Le sigh*
Then take the cream cheese filling and drop dollops of it over the bottom brownie layer.
Smooth out relatively evenly with a small spatula.
Finish up by spreading (gently, oh so gently) the rest of the brownie batter on top of the cream cheese filling.
 Place into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350. Start checking at about 20 minutes to see if the filling has set and the bottom layer has cooked using the toothpick test. If you're baking in a deeper pan like an 8x8 or 9x13, you'd probably need to cook for double the time. I mean, I'd be more worried about what might happen to your jaw if these brownies were baked in an 8x8 pan, but live your life the way you want...just don't burn the damn brownies. Once cooked, cool on a wire rack completely and then slice away.
Pictured: my life goals in one photo.
Oh my GOD, these are the richest chocolate brownies I have EVER had in my LIFE. So rich it necessitated all the caps lock moments happening in the previous sentence. The filling is so delightfully sweet to offset the denseness of the chocolate brownies, and together these ingredients form a moment so blissful even angels would weep over their pure deliciousness. I'd like to think so anyway; after all, I am the dessert prophet, so I'm acutely aware of how heavenly these Baileys brownies are. I'd better go say a Hail Mary or two before pushing the envelope any further. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!

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