Irish Cream Brownies and Food-Related Goals for 2012

If you’ve come here looking for a list of healthy recipes to kick off the New Year, I’m sorry to disappoint. The fact of the matter is that I just don’t buy into the intense dieting and working out at the gym everyday craze that happens in January and invariably drops off steeply by the end of February. Instead, I’m going to continue to stick to my mantra: everything in moderation. Yes, I bake a lot. I’m going to continue baking a lot. Not only do I enjoy it, but baking and cooking from scratch also allows me to avoid artificial preservatives and allergens in store-bought foods, and to use seasonal and local ingredients as much as possible. With that in mind, today I’m also taking a page from my friend Aimée’s book and sharing my food-related goals for 2012. I hope you’ll share yours in the comments as well! And, enjoy these Irish cream brownies…because a little chocolate never hurt anyone.

My 2012 Food Goals:

1. Eat more meatless meals.
One of the biggest changes I’d like to see in 2012 is for the hubby and I to eat at least one meatless meal a week. Since hubby is most definitely a carnivore, I know this is going to be a challenge for us, but I’m definitely up to the task of experimenting in the kitchen in order to find satisfying meatless meals that we’ll both enjoy.

2. Eat more organic foods.
Tying in with #1, I’m hoping that some of the money we save by eating meatless more often will allow us to buy good-quality, organic meat when we do eat it. I’d also like to buy more organic vegetables and dairy as our budget allows; I’ve been buying organic milk for the past year, and I can definitely say that the change both in taste and how I feel after drinking it is noticeable and worth it.

3. Eat more local foods.
For the last couple years, hubby and I have participated in an organic CSA, and it has really opened our eyes to how we can support the community around us rather than buying what’s at the grocery store that’s been trucked in from another state. It has also allowed us to really understand what it means to eat seasonally. While I’m not sure if we’ll participate in a CSA this year, I’m definitely planning on shopping at local farmer’s markets and stands as much as possible for food that is fresher, cheaper, and much tastier, too.

4. Preserve more foods.
I already do a ton of preserving during the summer and fall when fruits and vegetables are at their peak in upstate NY, but I hope to do even more, and of greater variety. Popping open a jar of strawberry preserves on a cold winter day that I picked and then canned the same day during the previous summer is one of my favorite parts about the canning process. Stocking up on other favorites such as relish and bread & butter pickles also helps us cut out more corn syrup and other processed ingredients from our diets by avoiding the store-bought versions.

5. Bake more bread.
Although I’ve come far in how much I’ve learned about different methods of making bread and working with yeast (and even make some types such as homemade pizza dough and bagels frequently), there’s nothing like good old sandwich bread, and I have yet to find a homemade recipe that I like. This year, I’m hoping to find that perfect recipe so that I can begin making all of my sandwich bread at home.

What about you? What are your goals for 2012, food-related or otherwise?

Now, on to the recipe!

  • 10 Tbsp butter
  • 3 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs (these are cake-y brownies, so for brownies that are more fudgey, use 2 eggs)
  • 1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8″ baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. In a sauce pan, melt the butter and chocolate over low-medium heat. Stir in the sugar and let cool to room temperature.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the eggs until pale. Stir in the chocolate mixture and the Irish cream.

Gradually beat in the flour mixture until well-blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

30 Responses to “Irish Cream Brownies and Food-Related Goals for 2012”

  1. 1 Cookbook Queen Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I LOVE your resolutions. Way better than all that exercise nonsense. And the brownies look AMAZING.

  2. 2 Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?! Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I just want to reach into the computer screen and grab a brownie! These look fabulous! :) I, like you, don’t necessarily buy into all the resolutions. I just tend to follow my own healthy eating rules year round, one of which is everything in moderation. I bake all the time too but with a little self control, it’s very do-able to not overeat or gain weight due to too many sweets.

  3. 3 Erin @ Texanerin Baking Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I love Irish cream in baked goods! The brownies look great. :)

    Our #1 and #2 goals are the same, but I also have “eat more fruits and vegetables” as a goal. It’s been a constant goal for a long time. I just don’t like vegetables (besides corn and potatoes, but those don’t really count) and it makes it really difficult. Good luck with the meatless meals! It think that’s the most difficult one.

  4. 4 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Like you, I believe in moderation. My problem over the past month (or two or three) has been that I *haven’t* been moderating! So, I need to focus more on healthy eating during meals (hoping to try more fish recipes), with my continued splurge of sweet stuff here and there. I love to bake too much to give that up!

    I canned just a few small batches of jams and salsas last summer; I’d like to do more this year. It is definitely nice to have those on hand, instead of eating all of those processed ingredients!

  5. 5 Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I never buy into the food resolutions either. Ours are pretty much on point with yours. And I need a brownie for breakfast. What diet?

  6. 6 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Baileys and I are long lost lovers. I mean, I love love the stuff and used to partake quite a bit. I need to start baking with it…booze and brownies all in one shot sounds perfect.

    Gorgeous photography!

  7. 7 Shaina Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Love your list, and those brownies look divine! Happy New Year, Tracy!

  8. 8 Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Great list of food goals… Mine are very similar!

    And, I have to say… Those brownies look pretty fantastic!

  9. 9 christina @ ovenadventures Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    these brownies sounds sooo good. i’m totally with you on the not buying into the January hype.

    My goals are actually quiet similar. I love eating organic and local though the budget is already stretched. We get a lot of stuff from our local farmers market in the summer but in the winter it’s slim pickings.

  10. 10 G. Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    oh my! These look amazing. I’m sitting here wondering if Bailey’s is gluten-free so I could add some to my brownies next time I make them. Good luck on all of your goals. Happy 2012!

  11. 11 Jenna Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Those are great goals! I want to continue to eat an ample amount of meatless meals, and maybe try some free-range beef at some point. And I agree–everything in moderation! I’m not planning any drastic changes in our eating habits, but I want to make sure that I listen to my stomach and STOP when I’m full! Overeating never feels good.

  12. 12 Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I kicked off 2012 with big old brownies, too! I’m sure you can agree, living in upstate NY, January is the last month I want to give up delicious baked goods! We need all the comfort we can get.

    I like your “eat local” goal. It’s so, so easy to do that in the summer up here. I definitely want to join a CSA this summer!

  13. 13 carolinaheartstrings Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Great post and I agree with you completely. The brownies look amazing! Come visit us. We have some wonderful recipes this week.

  14. 14 Always Wright Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I love your food-related goals! They are really great! Good luck following them! My husband and I will be eating healthier this year, too. Keep up that beautiful snow on your nice blog! Happy New Year to all!

  15. 15 Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    These look delicious! I love Baileys, but I’ve never baked with it before!

  16. 16 Becca Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Man, good luck with the meatless thing; I am the biggest carnivor and I need my meat, haha. Your brownies look so gooey, I love it!

  17. 17 Sook Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Wow, what a pretty blog you have here! I am glad I found it! The brownies look so beautiful! I love chocolate everything.

  18. 18 Aimee @ Simple Bites Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Thumbs up to starting the year with brownies! Great goals, Tracy, thanks for sharing.

  19. 19 Raina Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Happy New Year! These brownies look so yummy! I always love your recipes. I like your goals too, especially the ones about preserving and baking bread, two things I would definitely like to do more of:)

  20. 20 Sarah @ a dash and a pinch Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Those brownies are fantastic, and your goals and resolutions are really inspiring. I should try and be more healthy and “green” as well! Thanks for sharing, Tracy :)

  21. 21 Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 10:11 am

    These brownies look insanely delicious!! :D

  22. 22 Alexis @ There She Goes Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 11:10 am

    i love your food goals! i’m also trying to buy more local produce in 2012 and learn to can/preserve!

  23. 23 Carol Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Love your resolutions! May I recommend one more…
    Eat one raw meal a day. Actually…. eat as many and as much raw veggies as you can! Our bodies are made up of living cells and consuming living cells has a way of boosting your health and energy! Happy New Year!!

  24. 24 Jamie | My Baking Addiction Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Love your list – I’m with ya on the more meatless meals! Your brownies look amazing!

  25. 25 Julie Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Recently came across your blog when surfing….I love it! I do have one question for you and your food blog friends. I live at almost 9,000 ft so baking can be a real challenge. Is there any blogs out there that you can suggest for high altitude baking? Thanks so much for your beautiful blog and great recipes! Happy New Year.

  26. 26 Marcee Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    WOW! Fantastic brownie recipe for parties. I need one for dinner. Definitely must bake them soon.

    Tracy …. how do you project the SNOW? Ohmygosh …. I love that. Had to show it to my galpals! They really don’t do food blogs, but enjoyed your snow-show! You gotta keep that. Ha.

    HNY …. 2012 …. !

  27. 27 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    These sound absolutely lovely! Great recipe!

  28. 28 Avrienne Says:
    January 6th, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Made this today with a mint-chocolate Irish Cream–absolutely delicious!

  29. 29 Markie Says:
    January 6th, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Eat everything including lots of desserts. But, DO go to the gym, and exercise 30 minutes every other day. Your body will thank you for the yummy desserts and it will feel great from the excercise.

    Mark from Albany

  30. 30 Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels Says:
    January 13th, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I’m exactly the same way and I’m so glad that you posted how you don’t buy into all of that dieting/intense exercising stuff in January. It honestly is so refreshing to see a blogger who is continuing to post just as they always have. :)
    These brownies look soooooo good. I LOVE Irish cream in desserts. :) YUM!

    One of my goals is to bake more bread too! Love baking bread and just don’t do it enough.

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