4 Uses for Guinness in cooking and baking

Grab a glass of Ireland's finest and head to the kitchen!

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If you think Guinness is just for drinking, you are sadly mistaken. This thick, stout-style beer is not only delicious in a pint size glass -- it's delicious inside your favorite foods! Guinness adds flavor and depth to boring stews, adds decadence to chocolate cupcakes and is incredible when thickened up into sauces for meat. But that's not all! Check out these 4 unique ways you can use your favorite Irish import (besides Colin Farrell) in baking and cooking this St. Patrick's Day.

If you're not an avid Guinness fan, don't stray away from these fantastic ideas! When you bake or reduce this distinct beer, you're just left with a little aftertaste that gives each stew, sauce, cake or ice cream just the right amount of thick, stout flavor. Plus, you can enjoy these treats and meals anytime, so no need to wait until 5 p.m. to enjoy your favorite brew this St. Patty's Day!

Baked chocolate desserts

If you are looking for an easy way to use up the remaining bottle of Guinness in your fridge, add a cup to your favorite chocolate cake, cupcake, cookie or pie recipe! The stout of the beer pairs perfectly with dark chocolate desserts and compliments the richness of the chocolate without being overwhelming. If you want to start off slow with the addition of Guinness, simply sub out 1/2 cup of any liquid in your recipe (milk or water) for Guinness and taste it. If you love the flavor, add more. If it's just the right amount, keep it! Just be wary, chocolate desserts made with Guinness are sinfully sweet and are not for your kid's bake sale.

Stews and soups

Looking for a way to amp up your Irish stew this year? Add 1 cup of Guinness! The deep, roasted flavor of the dark stout compliments the richness of meats like beef and lamb perfectly without overpowering their natural flavors and textures. Plus, after simmering and brewing for over 6 hours, your house will smell like a little bit of heaven. However, this beer isn't just good in stew. Add 1 cup of Guinness to your traditional onion soup recipe for a smoky, incredible soup that knocks the traditional recipe out of the water.

Sauces

For the more advanced cook, get a little creative with this Irish beer. Instead of dumping it into a dish, use it to top your favorite dish in sauce form! Need a new finger-lickin' BBQ sauce? Add Guinness for a sauce that has a kick and a fabulous smokey, oatmeal aftertaste. Looking for a new marinade for your favorite steak? Mix Guinness with salt, pepper and a bit of steak seasoning and soak meat overnight. Your steak will have more depth of flavor that you know what to do with. You can also reduce Guinness down to a thick sauce by mixing it with flour, sugar, a little bit of mashed cherries and salt and pepper! Pair this dark cherry sauce with lamb, steak or even chicken!

Ice cream and custard

Craving something sweet and sinful? Whip up a batch of dark chocolate Guinness ice cream! Using just four ingredients, you can have a seriously sweet and decadent dessert with a bit of a dark side. Add nuts and more chocolate chips for an indulgent sweet. If you're feeling extra devious, add Bailey's to your Guinness ice cream for an extra boozy and creamy aftertaste.

Who knew you could do so much with just one bottle of beer?

More St. Patrick's Day recipes

Green cocktails for St. Patrick's Day
A new St. Patrick's Day menu
St. Patrick's Day cookie pops

Claire is an aspiring nutritionist (and soon to be culinary student) with a serious addiction to bacon, goat cheese and online shopping. She is recently married to a social media guru who loves *almost* everything she conjures up. In addition to writing for the Food section of SheKnows, she is a full-time recipe creator (and taste tester), a writer for FabulousFoods.com and a contributing writer for the Home and Gardening section of SheKnows. You can also follow her musings and find delicious healthy recipes on her food blog, The Realistic Nutritionist.

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