Boozy Baileys Christmas Brownies

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times - I bloomin' love brownies. They don't just taste good, but they can also be tailored to fit any time of the year. This year, I did a batch for Easter and a batch for Halloween, so it's only right that I do some for Christmas too! At first, I struggled to come up with something different to make these brownies Christmassy, but then I got it - Baileys.

I'm not entirely sure where Baileys is sold around the world. but if you're unfamiliar with it, Baileys is an Irish cream liqueur. To me, it tastes kind of like an alcoholic toffee milkshake, but it isn't too intense. It's ideal for putting into coffees, fudge and many other things, including baked goods. Now, I used to love Baileys, but I had thrown out all my bottles that had been gathering dust after someone told me that it made you fat (which it doesn't if consumed in moderation can I just say), but when we were coming back from Disneyland, I spotted a bottle of Baileys Vanilla & Cinnamon in the ferry shop. I knew that even if I didn't drink it, I'd find a use for it (imagine it in a hot chocolate... drool), so I picked it up! So long story short, the Baileys that I added in to these brownies has a hint of cinnamon and vanilla to it, which just adds to the Christmas flavour.

I was a little bit worried about putting alcohol into these brownies at first because I use melted chocolate to get that gooey texture, and alcohol and melted chocolate don't mix. The fat in the warm chocolate reacts with the water in the alcohol, causing it to seize and solidify quickly, leaving you with a lump of gritty, nasty chocolate mess. There are ways to save it if you're quick enough, but I'm yet to find something that works for me. Anyway, the way that I got around this was I melted the chocolate and butter together as usual, then I beat the Baileys in a separate bowl with the eggs and sugar. I prayed that this would dilute the alcohol down enough so that when I poured in the cooled chocolate mixture, it would be fine. And it absolutely was! I was so chuffed with myself! Baking is a science, yo.
I was actually going to leave these brownies plain with no decoration, but would it even be a Christmas bake without a bit of bling? I drizzled over some melted milk chocolate and then sprinkled over some gold crunch pieces to get a festive look. I realise that it would've looked better with white chocolate drizzle, but you live and you learn.

You will need:
225g plain chocolate
225g softened, unsalted butter
3 eggs
225g caster sugar
100ml Baileys Vanilla & Cinnamon
120g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Half teaspoon ground ginger
Quarter teaspoon ground nutmeg
A pinch of salt
100g milk chocolate chips
100g white chocolate chips
Any decorations (I used 50g milk chocolate and gold crunch pieces)

  1. Preheat your oven to 180c/gas mark 5. Grease and line a 18 x 28cm/7 x 11" tin with greaseproof paper. I recommend using a tin as close to these measurements as possible, otherwise it may take a longer or shorter amount of time for your brownies to bake.
  2. Break the plain chocolate into squares and place in a heatproof bowl with the butter. Using the microwave, melt them down, stirring at intervals until they are completely combined. You can also do this by setting the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove the bowl and leave the mixture to cool for as long as possible without it going solid.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and Baileys together, then gradually beat in the cooled melted chocolate mixture.
  4. Sift the flour, spices and salt over the mixture, then fold in together with the chocolate chips until well incorporated.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it out evenly, and then bake for about 40 minutes, then cover the top with tin foil and bake for a further 10 minutes. If you are using a tin that is close to the original measurements, don't bake it for any longer, as it will still be soft under the crust but will firm up as it cools. If your tin is larger or smaller, you may have to adjust your timings accordingly.
  6. Leave the brownie slab to cool completely in the tin, then remove and trim off the crusty edges.
  7. If you're drizzling chocolate over, melt your chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave, then drizzle it over the slab. Sprinkle on any decorations while the chocolate is still tacky. Once set, cut your brownies into squares.
Don't skip out on the part with the tin foil, as the amount of liquid in this mixture means that the brownies have to be in the oven for quite a while, and without the foil, your crust will burn. But because of the liquid, your brownies will be gorgeously moist and rich with a slight crunch on the outside - just how brownies should be. These are brilliant served up warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and would make a lovely treat to take into the office at this time of year!

5 comments

  1. Oh these look super delicious. I've been craving Baileys for ages but keep forgetting to buy a bottle! Maybe today will be the day. I bet these brownies make a fab gift xx

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  2. These look and sound so good! I had no idea alcohol and warm choc had that effect so glad I read this to safe any future disasters!

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  3. These brownies sound absolutely delicious! I love Baileys as a drink to pop in hot chocolate too so I can imagine these taste amazing! :) xx

    Yasmina | The July Journal

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  4. Wow, I need to make these right now! Just seen this after reading your billionaire's cupcake recipe and these sounds amazing too, I can't decide which ones to make first!

    Daughter of An Air Hostess // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

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  5. These look absolutely fabulous! I love how you adapted the classic brownie for different occasions in the year. Those gold nuggets on top, and adding the baileys really do make the recipe super Christmassy. I will take you advice on board about how to add the baileys in while baking, it sounds like you nailed it! Hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas season and sorry I’ve not popped by in a while. :-) xx

    Helen | Helen’s Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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