Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mexican Brownies

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Charles M. Schulz





Mexican chocolate can refer to several types of chocolate, including a hot chocolate drink, but all of these chocolates have one thing in common: they’re spicy. Mexican chocolate, in just about every form, is flavored with a variety of spices. Cinnamon is always present and some variations use ground chilis to add some heat to the mix. 

These Mexican Chocolate Brownies are definitely on the spicy side. The fudgy, slightly chewy brownies are made with dark chocolate and get an extra deep flavor from the addition of some cocoa powder. They’re flavored with cinnamon, cayenne pepper and chili powder, as well as vanilla extract. The cinnamon, cayenne and chili all come together to give the brownies a nice balance of spice and heat that really compliments the chocolate.

Bittersweet chocolate chips in this recipe balance out the spices. The brownies are really complex, but not overwhelmingly hot or spicy. They taste better the day after they’re made, as the spices have time to meld together in that time. If stored for a few days (in an airtight container), the cayenne will actually become stronger and your brownies will be a bit spicier.
Spicy Mexican Brownies
recipe adapted from bakingbites.com
Cook's notes: I used a little less than suggested amounts of ground cayenne pepper and chili powder for my first "go around" making this recipe, just to be on the safe "heated" side. 
Warning: These brownies can be addictive almost as much as the gingersnaps cookies. 
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 TB. cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp. cayenne pepper
  •  1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 
  • 2/3 cups of bittersweet chocolate chips  
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking pan 8 x 8 with aluminum foil and lightly grease
  • In a small bowl microwave butter and dark chocolate together, whisk till smooth, add in cocoa powder and stir till smooth. Set aside
  • In a large bowl whisk together sugar, egg and vanilla extract
  • Whisk in chocolate mixture into sugar mixture
  • Sift flour, ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper, chili powder and salt into the bowl and stir just till combined 
  • Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces 
  • Spread batter evenly in pan
  • Bake at 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center
  • When cool dust with powdered sugar




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