Is there anyone who doesn’t love brownies? Really. Is there? But, now the big question…are you a fudgy-type or cake brownie-type of person? I’m afraid, I’m both. But, I definitely lean fudgy! And these are fudgy, but with a little kick of heat at the back…Nice! Many years ago, when The Goddess was a mere fledgling, she ran across a brownie recipe from Katherine Hepburn. Apparently, she make it for them for the crew, when she was making a movie. I loved the recipe because it was written very much the way she spoke…well, that and the fact that it was spectacularly good. So that became my go-to brownie recipe. This is sort of a riff on that recipe.
The bonus is that these go together incredibly fast and easy…life IS good. First thing, preheat the oven to 350°F. I put the butter and chocolate in an eight cup Pyrex® glass measure. I put it in the microwave on 50% power for 2-3 minutes. You want the butter to just melt, but not to let the chocolate burn. I usually let the mixture sit on the counter for a couple of minutes, so the chocolate will melt completely. While it sits, I butter and flour the 9 X 13-inch pan. I like to use an aluminum pan for baking. Glass, particularly with this type of brownie (really good fudgy brownies), as they tend to bake too quickly and will dry out. In a separate bowl, I measure out the flour, spices, salt and chile powder, giving it a good turn with a whisk to combine everything; now set that aside. By now the butter mixture should have cooled slightly. You want to do this, so the eggs don’t cook. Dump in the sugars, espresso powder and vanilla. Give it a really good whisking until the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs and whisk like mad. The mixture should be complete homogeneous and smooth. Now, dump in the dry ingredients. Toss the whisk in the sink and use a spatula to combine the ingredients until thoroughly and completely mixed together. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 26 minutes. I’m serious about this time. In my oven, it’s 26 minutes. Not 25 minutes. Not 27 minutes…but, 26 is the perfect time. The top will still look slightly damp, but the center should just barely be set. Cool completely. I cut into bars, sometimes squares, sometimes rectangles. Then, just before serving, I dust them with powdered sugar. Just a sprinkle, not snow drifts, okay?
These are best eaten within a couple of days, but they do keep, tightly wrapped, for a couple of days. I think they store best at room temperature, but they do freeze well.
Oh yes, I should chat with you about the chile powder. I’m not talking the chile powder that has other spices in it, the one we use when we make chili. I’m talking about just the chile that’s dried, then ground to a powder…just that chile. I like to use either guajillo powder or chipotle powder, because have a much more complex flavor. I have used cayenne, and feel free to use that type, too. It will give you heat, but not the other back flavors.
Spicy Mexican Brownies
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground Vietnamese cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4-1 teaspoon pure chipotle powder or guajillo chile powder (or cayenne)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup)
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, beaten
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9 X 14-inch pan; set aside.
In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, spices, salt and chile powder. Stir with a whisk until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
Combine the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on 50% power for about 3 minutes, or until the butter is melted completely. Set aside for a minute or two, until the chocolate is melted. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Let the mixture stand until cools a bit, a minute or two. Add the sugars, espresso powder and vanilla; whisk until smooth. Add the eggs and whisk like mad; the mixture should be complete homogeneous and smooth. Dump in the dry ingredients; using a spatula, combine the ingredients until you have a completely mixed batter. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 26 minutes. The center should just barely be set. Cool completely. Cut into bars, sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
NOTE: If you use glass, lower the oven temperature to 325°F. But, you run the risk of drying out the brownies. An aluminum pan works much better and heats more evenly. Use the chile of your choice and use the amount that works for your heat tolerance.
Spicy Mexican Brownies Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2017. All rights reserved.
Now, a good cup of coffee and a little spice in my life, other than The Spicy Honey. That’s a whole different kind of spice!