Bourbon Brownies

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Bourbon brownies make the classic treat even more festive for the holidays.

Bourbon brownies add a hit of festive to the classic treat.

One of the first things I learned how to make was brownies. Our family’s favorite recipe came from the back of the cocoa can (double of course for a big pan of extra-thick brownies) and it served me well until I moved out of my parents’ house.

We made brownies often, possibly even more than cookies, because they required less preparation. The rewards of our baking time disappeared quickly, thanks to our collective sweet tooths and my sports-playing brother. Still, I have fond memories of heading to the kitchen for “just one more piece”.

These days brownies are more for special occasions than the everyday, so I like to pump them up a bit. Whether I’m going for strawberry cheesecake swirl brownies or the crazy-good turtle brownies, adding something special makes brownies even better.

During the holiday baking season bourbon comes into play a lot — or maybe that’s just among my circle of friends? Last year I helped a friend make a batch of fantastic bourbon balls, and the taste memory of those bites convinced me to make these fantastic bourbon brownies.

brownies being frosted with white frosting, overhead

While the recipe doesn’t call for a lot of bourbon, I’d still save these for the adults among you and out of reach of the kiddos. That’s assuming you can keep your own hands off them to be able to share with a group.

Remember that sweet tooth I mentioned? No matter how many salads I eat, you can’t keep me from slicing up more brownie bites.

If you’re heading to a party this season, consider making these bourbon brownies. Bake them up in a round pan and serve on a pretty plate if you want to pretend they’re fancier than they really are. Or just let your friends dive in with forks.

brownie on an upside-down cup
Bourbon Brownies

Bourbon Brownies

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Bourbon brownies make the classic treat even more festive for the holidays


Bourbon Frosting

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted


For the Bourbon Frosting:

  1. In a medium bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well.
  3. Beat in bourbon or milk and vanilla. If necessary, beat in enough milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make frosting spreading consistency. Set aside until ready to use.

For the Brownies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter, and the water. Cook and stir over medium heat just until boiling. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in 1 cup chocolate pieces until melted. Add eggs and vanilla, beating with a wooden spoon just until combined.
  4. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chopped walnuts. Pour batter into
    the prepared baking pan, spreading evenly.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean and edges start to pull away from sides of pan.
  6. Place pan on a wire rack. Brush top of hot brownies with bourbon. Cool completely.
  7. Spread uncut brownies with Bourbon Frosting. Cut into bars. Drizzle top
    with melted chocolate.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 111mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 3g

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