A dash of bourbon takes these simple, but delicious brownies right up to the next level – without any overpowering flavour giving their secret away!
The image above is a picture of innocence, isn’t it? Fresh, home-baked brownies and a wholesome glass of milk – hardly the stuff that leads down the road to ruin. Unless, of course, one knocks of the whole batch of bourbon brownies in one sitting as I was in very real danger of doing. My clever friend Barb, of Creative Culinary, is one hell of a baker and has been espousing the virtues of baking with bourbon for ages. She swears that it gives a warm depth of flavour to her baked goods, without an overpowering bourbon taste and guess what – she’s absolutely right!
My knowledge of bourbons is very limited and I doubt we have access here in Oz to some of the more unique bourbons available in the US, so I just grabbed a bottle of Jim Beam while passing through duty-free on the ship last weekend and, suffering baking withdrawals after being away from my kitchen for so long, I gave it a try. I simply turned to an old favourite brownie recipe that I’ve used for many years, tweaked it a little and substituted the 1/4 cup of water for the same of bourbon. My son, who has been eating the same brownies for all of his life, instantly commented on how much nicer than usual they were. He couldn’t taste the bourbon until I told him about it, but even the hint of boozy flavour he could then detect disappeared when I frosted them.
These bourbon brownies are truly delicious and honestly worthy of a place at dessert, rather than just in the lunchbox. I always use Dutched cocoa which makes them very dark and rich. Next time I make them I’m going to throw restraint to the winds and substitute the oil for melted butter as well – that should make them even more wickedly divine. And even harder to resist. Thank heavens I have the kids still at home to save me from myself.
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup soft brown sugar
- 1/2 cup Dutched cocoa
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 1 cup of rice bran oil
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 Tbsp soft butter
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- dash of milk
- Preheat oven to 160C (320F).
- Grease and line a 33x23 cm pan (13x9 inches) with baking paper. Use a slightly smaller pan for thicker brownies.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix with a wooden spoon until combined and all the lumps are blended. Do not over-mix.
- Pour batter into pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes, no longer.
- Frost brownies before cutting.
- Combine frosting ingredients, mix until completely smooth and spread over the top of cooled brownies.