Man, oh man. Now these Drunken Hazelnut Cranberry Brownies are a treat I want to serve this Christmas. The perfect fudgy brownie gets filled with cranberries and hazelnuts but the most special part about these brownies is the hazelnut liqueur.

Drunken Hazelnut Cranberry Brownies in a white towel lined tin on top of a round wooden board.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS RECIPE

Brownies – it’s hard not to love them but these ones are filled with cranberries and hazelnut liqueur and just scream Christmas to me.

DIFFICULTY – Easy to make, just keep an eye on that cooking time.

MAKE AHEAD? – Definitely! In fact they taste best the day after baking. I would recommend you make these brownies 1-2 days prior to serving, but they will keep well for up to 5 days.

STORAGE – Before serving, store them uncut in an airtight container. For any leftovers, keep them stored in the fridge in an airtight container but allow them to come to room temperature before eating. They can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months, for which they are best wrapped in foil, then in 2 layers of plastic wrap.

TOOLS USED IN THIS RECIPE

  • I use an 8×8 baking tin like this one
  • For this recipe a simple handheld beater is perfect.
  • A silicone spatula makes sure you don’t leave any goodness behind.

A stack of 3 Drunken Hazelnut Cranberry Brownies.

These brownies are great any time of year

As a general rule, desserts with liqueur in them are not my favourites – except if it’s a special occasion. For some reason, as soon as Christmas hits, it just feels right. At the time this post goes live, I only have 2 other alcoholic desserts on SSM – my Peppermint Baileys Chocolate Mousse and my Boozy Eggnog Panna Cotta.  Both of those and these Drunken Hazelnut Cranberry Brownies are just perfect Christmas treats.

It gets better though. Because these brownies are made using dried cranberries, you can make these at any time of year. Maybe for a Valentines treat or a yummy birthday dessert. So, so good. These brownies are rich, decadent and perfectly fudgy. The flavour of the Frangelico liqueur just works perfectly in these brownies but don’t worry, they won’t make you drunk.

How to make brownies

Brownies are typically an easy dessert to make. Often they are the work of minutes and often use only one bowl. These ones take a little longer and use an extra bowl but I promise it’s totally worth the extra 5 minutes.

The ingredients for great brownies

  • Chocolate – in two forms, cocoa and real dark chocolate. The chocolate increases the fudginess while the cocoa intensifies that chocolate flavour. Also I use dutched processed cocoa, mainly for its colour. In this recipe, you can substitute the dutched cocoa for plain unsweetened cocoa.
  • Eggs – 3 of them. The yolks add richness and the protein in the whites helps with structure and a little rise (since there are no other leavening agents int these)
  • Sugar – also in two forms. I use brown sugar and standard granulated. The brown sugar adds moisture and richness to the flavour and is a bit sweeter than white granulated sugar, however, feel free to use just all granulated.
  • Flour – just one cup to give them some structure but no more as it could make your brownies more cake like

Start by plumping up those dried cranberries with a little liqueur. Next melt together the butter and chocolate and mix them together well.

2 photos: sugar and eggs in a glass bowl, then beaten until smooth.

Let’s put this all together. Beat together the eggs and sugar with a handheld beater, until very light and doubled in volume – this should take about 1 minute. Add the melted chocolate and butter and mix.

2 photos: adding chocolate to wet ingredients, then mixed.

2 photos: adding filling to brownie batter, batter spread in a square baking tin.

Sift over the dry ingredients and just mix them through with a spatula I love these silicone ones. Finally add the drunken cranberries with any juices and the hazelnut and stir through.

Make sure not to overmix once you’ve added the dry ingredients, as this could just make them cakey and the wrong kind of chewy.

Tip the batter into an 8″ x 8″ baking tin like this one. The brownies bake for anywhere between 35-45 minutes but it will be dependent on your oven. I find mine are perfect at 40 minutes – a lovely fudgy, dense centre but still cooked through. You know they’re cooked when the top looks dry and has risen just a little and when you press on it with your fingertip it will feel dense but soft. You can test with a toothpick that should come out with some wet crumbs on it but not raw batter.

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Drunken Hazelnut Cranberry Brownies on a white towel inside a metal tin.

Calling all chocolate lovers

If you’re a chocolate lover (well you wouldn’t have read this far if you weren’t) then my Drunken Hazelnut Cranberry Brownies are exactly what you need right now.

More brownie recipes

These Drunken Hazelnut Cranberry Brownies start with a classic chocolate brownie, filled with hazelnuts and cranberries soaked in Frangelico liqueur. They make the perfect Christmas brownies recipe.

Drunken Hazelnut Cranberry Brownies

5 from 3 votes
These Drunken Hazelnut Cranberry Brownies start with a classic chocolate brownie, filled with hazelnuts and cranberries soaked in Frangelico liqueur. They make the perfect Christmas brownies recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup frangelico liqueur
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 113 g / 1/2 cup / 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 75 g / 1.8oz dark (70% cocoa) chocolate
  • 200 g light brown sugar
  • 100 g / 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 130 g / 1 cup plain (AP) flour
  • 50 g / 1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line an 8x8 inch square baking tin with baking paper.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the Frangelico and cranberries. Simmer for 2 minutes then turn the heat off and leave to cool a little.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl. This can be done in 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring well between each until smooth.
  • Use a handheld beater to beat together both sugars and the eggs until lightened and frothy (about 1 minute).
  • Sift over the flour, cocoa and salt and use a spatula to mix through until just combined.
  • Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture along with the hazelnuts and cranberries with any juices and mix through, again until just combined.
  • Bake for around 40 minutes, turning halfway through. The brownies are done when a toothpick inserted comes out with some wet crumbs but not with raw batter. The top should be dry and it should feel dense but soft to the touch in the middle.

Notes

  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
  2. For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).

TOOLS USED IN THIS RECIPE

  • I use an 8x8 baking tin like this one
  • For this recipe a simple handheld beater is perfect.
  • A silicone spatula makes sure you don’t leave any goodness behind.
Have you tried this recipe?Rate or comment below and let us know how it was!

Some Drunken Hazelnut Cranberry Brownies in a white towel lined tin.