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Guinness Brownies with Peanut Butter Pretzel Frosting

October 28, 2019 by Nicole Collins


I know it's been a hot minute since I've shared the goods with you, and I sincerely apologize for my absence lately.

Before we get into it…I need to be honest with you guys about something. I’ve been in a little bit of a blog slump lately. A lot of bit, actually. The recipe ideas have been flowing like normal; but the ambition to make, photograph, edit, and write has not. I’ve had a little bit of a tough few months dealing with some (still unresolved) health issues, and I think I just need a brain break.

Actually, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and painting lately. And, I’m really enjoying it! It’s good to switch up your routine every now and then, right?

I’m totally not giving up on food or the blog, I just need to adjust my strategy for a few weeks while I work on finding a new “normal” setting in my life. So, my posts may be a little shorter than normal for just a little bit. But, I promise the food will still be nothing but delicious!

I'm actually older than I was the last time we saw each other too. YUP! I’m officially in the next age bracket. No more checking the 25-34 box. No more rounding down. No more saying “I’m in my early 30’s”.

I'm now the big 35.

It’s funny how people care less and less about your birthday the older you get. There are moments when I don’t want to talk about the fact that I’m inevitably getting old. But, there are also moments when I want everyone around me to gush over me and spoil me on my birthday so that getting old doesn’t seem so depressing.

Anyone know what I’m talking about?

My birthday was about 2 weeks ago, and I got to do all the celebrating with my loved ones, delicious food, and yummy beer. So, I guess if you’re gonna get older, you might as well do it with a happy belly!

Since my life is full of delayed reactions lately, we're having a belated birthday edition recipe that couldn’t be any more perfect to cure the “getting old” blues. Chocolate, peanut butter, and booze? Yes, please!

Today, we’re making Guinness Brownies with Peanut Butter Pretzel Frosting!

Here’s the scoop…it’s my birthday (month), so I’m definitely not trying to work too hard here. So, I’m using a store bought brownie mix as my base. Don’t judge me! But, we’re going to jazz it up by swapping out melted butter for the oil and stout beer for the water called for on the box. These little changes render a perfectly rich brownie, and that’s all a girl can ask for. You really can’t taste the stout, so you might as well save the leftover beer for chugging!

See…we’re already winning here!

Brownies are one of my favorite desserts, but I definitely don’t eat them that often. A thick, fudgy brownie is absolute heaven on its own. But, we’re going to add another layer of amazingness in the form of peanut butter pretzel frosting!

We’re going to use basic buttercream ingredients: butter, powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla. But, we’re also going to add in a generous scoop of peanut butter and finely crushed pretzel crumbs. Let the mixer do the work for you, and give it a good schmear on top of our perfectly cooled brownies.

This birthday girl is a happy camper right now and no longer thinking about her age!

Alright everyone. That’s all I’ve got for today. I'm going to do my best to get us back to our regular routine. Thanks SOOOOOOOOOO much for sticking with me!

Let’s eat!


Guinness Brownies with Peanut Butter Pretzel Frosting

Serves: 16 brownies Print


For the Brownies:

  • 1 box fudge brownie mix (I used Betty Crocker)

  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

  • ¼ cup Guinness stout beer

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

  • cooking spray

For the Frosting:

  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened

  • ½ cup peanut butter

  • 2 tbsp heavy cream

  • ½ tsp vanilla

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar

  • 1 cup pretzels + 16 mini pretzel twists, for garnish


  1. Make the Brownies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper, and spray the bottom, and sides lightly with cooking spray. Mix the brownie mix, melted butter, stout beer, and eggs by hand until fully combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake for 50-52 mins until a toothpick inserted 2 inches from the sides comes out almost clean. Set aside to cool completely.

  2. Make the Frosting: In a food processor, add 1 cup pretzels and pulse until finely ground with a few small chunks. Add softened butter and peanut butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium high speed for 30 seconds until mix is smooth and looking creamy. Add the powdered sugar, ground pretzels, heavy cream, and vanilla to the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds until the sugar starts to incorporate in the butter. Turn up to medium high speed, and finish mixing for about 1-2 minutes until the frosting is creamy.

  3. Once the brownies are completely cool to the touch, remove them from the pan. Use a butter knife or offset spatula to top the brownies with the frosting. Cut into squares, and top each square with one mini pretzel. Enjoy!

Recipe notes:

*I only tested these with Betty Crocker and Aldi brand brownie mix. As a general rule of thumb, swap out the oil called for on the box with melted butter and the water called for with stout in equal amounts.

*These can sit tightly covered at room temperature for 2-3 days. If by chance they last any longer than that, pop them in the fridge.

*I've always mixed boxed mixes by hand. This isn't an official ruling, but I believe that mixing by hand prevents over mixing which in turn leads to a fluffier treat. It's my superstition, and it's never let me down!

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