For the Guys: DIY Groomsmen Gifts with Black & Tan Brownies

on by in Weddings & Such

We've got a little Wedding Wednesday DIY for you today - and this one has extra goodness, because it kicks off our For the Guys series. We noticed that we've got quite a few grooms as Facebook fans, and we thought you might be feeling a bit neglected on the wedding blog scene... so we'll be pitching in to correct that. (Of course, we hope our topics will be interesting to the girls, too!)

DIY wedding groosman gift box tags

Groomsmen gifts can be tough - particularly when you're on a budget. Our solution is a simple gift box full of things most guys like: food and booze.

We filled our box with an antique-looking mini flask (this one is from Pottery Barn, and it's on sale in the stores right now), a miniature bottle of whiskey, and a delish little treat - black & tan brownies. If you're gifting your groomsmen with a tie or other small gift, you could tuck that in as well.


The brownies are delicious - the Guinness lends a bit of an earthy bite, but isn't overpowering. The tan/blondie layer is satisfyingly sweet and has a bit of sugared crust on the bottom - so good! They're also really easy to make.


We added a "Cheers!" tag to the flask, clipped a label to the brownie, and labeled the top of the box with a big, bold "Thank You". These touches are all optional, of course, but they really bring everything together and finish the gift off nicely.


The DIY Instructions

Black & Tan Brownies

From Cooking Light, March 2010


Tan Brownies:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Black Brownies:

  • 3 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Guinness Stout
  • 1 cup ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Place one rack in lower third of oven; place another rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking pan (making sure to butter the sides), line with parchment, and butter the parchment; set aside.
  2. To prepare Tan Brownies, place 6 tablespoons butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating just until combined. Spoon into the prepared pan coated with cooking spray, spreading evenly with a knife or rubber spatula; try to get as even a surface as possible. Bake at 350° in lower third of oven for 15 minutes.
  3. To prepare Black Brownies, melt chocolate and 4 tablespoons butter in a large microwave-safe bowl on HIGH for 1 minute or until melted, stirring after every 20 seconds until smooth. Add granulated sugar, stirring until well combined. Add 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and Guinness, stirring with a whisk until well combined. In a small bowl, combine flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring well. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring to combine. Pour mixture evenly over Tan Brownies; avoid mixing into the tan layer.
  4. Bake on the center rack at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out almost clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack; cut into squares.


Materials & Equipment
You should be able to find all of these items at your local craft store

  • A kraft or other type of simple gift box - ours is 6" x 6" x 3" (you can often find them in small quantities on Etsy)
  • White card stock, 8.5" x 11"
  • White label paper, 8.5" x 11" (or use the card stock and double-sided tape)
  • Paper shreds, or other box filler
  • Twine
  • Mini clothespins
  • Small food-safe cellophane bags
  • Printer
  • Straight edge and craft knife; or scissors
  • Hole punch


  1. Download and print out the Cheers! tags and Brownies tags, and print onto white card stock.
  2. Download and print out the Thank You labels onto label paper (optional; you can also print onto regular card stock).
  3. Using a straight edge and craft knife, cut the pieces between the crop marks. When cutting, do not cut all the way through the paper; leave the crop marks on each side to help you finish off each piece.
  4. For the Cheers! tags, cut two diagonal lines from the left side (to make a tag shape), punch a hole and string with your twine; tie around the flask opening and secure.
  5. Place one or two brownies in each cellophane bag, then clip on the brownies tags with clothespins.
  6. Add the filler to the boxes; arrange the gifts neatly inside.
  7. Peel the backings off the Thank You labels and attach to the box lids (or, if you did not use label paper, apply with double-sided tape).
  8. Close the boxes, and tie with twine.

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