One of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact with your diet is to eat locally grown food. Local food has fewer associated transportation emissions and is more likely to be in season. All this requires less energy and water to produce and distribute.
But food is not the only local good that most college students can get. Show some of your school’s town spirit by buying your beer from your local breweries! Near NYU, Brooklyn Brewery brews a delicious range of beers, ales, stouts and more right here in New York City. The fall and winter seasons present a doubly delicious option: Black Chocolate Stout. That’s right. Chocolate and beer. Together. It is as good as it sounds.
So what better to do this spring when you have [insert your region here] chocolate stout chilling in your mini-fridge? Make beer brownies, of course! Nobody turns down chocolate on Valentine’s Day–or any other time–whether or not one has an actual valentine. And, in college, at least the same number of people will accept beer. So combine the two and drop them at your sweetheart’s door before class or host a delectable desert party to celebrate your togetherness–or your singleness.
This is a really simple recipe, great for first time or intrepid bakers. Added benefits? You get to drink half of your beer while you bake, and you can impress your intended valentine by demonstrating your “locavore” knowledge! These are definitely on the fudgey end of the brownie spectrum. Try to use organic ingredients if you can.
Christine Johnson writes about Urban Green Foods for Big Girls Small Kitchen. She is a senior at NYU passionate about urban and community agriculture, sustainability and cooking delicious, responsible meals!
Local Beer Chocolate Stout Brownies
Makes 24 brownies
1 cup locally brewed Chocolate Stout (Brooklyn Brewery for me)
4 ounces Dark Chocolate (1 bar)
1 ounce White Chocolate (1/4 of a bar)
¾ cups unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
⅔ cups flour
½ cups cocoa powder
2 large eggs
Pre-heat your oven to 365 degrees. Set aside 1 cup of the stout, and drink the rest as you please. Melt the chocolates and the butter together in a double boiler**. Stir continuously until melted.
Remove the butter-chocolate from the heat (move it into a large bowl if you used a skillet). Mix in the sugar. Let cool while you take care of the dry ingredients. Whisk the flour and the cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Set aside. Beat the eggs into the wet ingredients, one at a time, until the mix gets slightly thicker. Then stir in the chocolate stout. NOTE: pour down the side of the bowl as you would when pouring beer into a glass to avoid foaming.
Slowly mix in the flour and cocoa. It will get a bit lumpy, so use a hand mixer if you have one (or try and squish out the lumps if, like me, you only have a spatula). Pour in 9 x 12-inch baking pan and pop it in the oven for 22 minutes. They will be moist and fudgey. I put them in the freezer immediately for a few hours, which brings out the stout flavor even more, but they can be enjoyed warm as well! Cut into 24 brownies.
**If you don’t have one, do as I do, and put a skillet or a metal bowl on top of your pot. Fill the pot with an inch or two of water and let boil.