Black and Tan Brownies

Perhaps you’ve had a pint of Black and Tan: where Guinness is carefully poured over an upside down tablespoon to gently fall on an ale or lager with greater density (Yes! More dense than Guinness!) so as not to mix the two. Or perhaps you’ve had a mixed Black and Tan where the visual aspect isn’t important, such as Yuengling’s. There are many variations that have developed over the years: Black and Tan (Smithwick’s or Bass), Half and Half (Harp), Black and Blue (Blue moon), or even a Black Velvet (champagne).blacktan

Source: Flickr creative commons by parislemon

Same concept: brownie form.

We also need to address that the naming of such a thing isn’t necessarily the most politically correct-or sensitive. The Black and Tans were men from Great Britain, whose job it was to act as police in Ireland as part of the Royal Irish Constabulary and fight against the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during the Irish War of Independence. The nickname Black and Tans came from the color of their uniforms. They are historically known for oftentimes using brutal and savage methods, even against civilians.

And so we have brownies………the dark, chocolately brownie sitting on top of the lighter cookie-type blondie. With beer in them. I actually used Sam Adams Chocolate Bock in the brownie. Certainly a different flavor profile than Guinness, though extremely appropriate given that smooth chocolate flavor.

So perhaps I’m the only one who will eat my brownie while contemplating the brutality of war and lament the trials and tribulations of the Irish while I watch The Wind That Shakes the Barley crying yet again. Pass me the brownies.


Come out, ye Black and Tans: Irish rebel song, here performed by the Wolfe Tones

The Wind That Shakes the Barley: a ballad written about the 1798 rebellion in Ireland. This is my favorite version by Solas.

Black and Tan Brownies

Adapted slightly from The Irish Spirit

Tan Brownies

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Black Brownies

5 oz. unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup stout

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter an 8×8 square pan.

Tan brownies

In the bowl of a mixer with paddle attachment beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy, then beat in egg and vanilla. Remove from mixer and stir in flour, baking powder and salt with a wooden spoon. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Black brownies

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler and stir until completely smooth.Stir in the sugar and salt and let cool slightly. Stir in the eggs, flour and vanilla. Whisk in the stout.

Pour the black brownie mixture over the tan brownies and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.