Mexican Brownies

Oh holy hell! These are crazy good. Seriously, CRAZY good!

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie, “Chocolat.” But if you haven’t, you should. It’s such a beautiful film with a fabulous soundtrack. Anyway, I do have a point. As I was melting the chocolate, espresso, butter, and sugars together, I envisioned myself in the chocolatier’s kitchen stirring the thick, pasty, chocolatey mixture with a feeling of awe. Slowly pouring the mixture into the dry ingredients and gently combining them while inhaling the rich fragrance took me to that kitchen filled with love and warmth. As you can tell, I have a very romantic imagination.

These aren’t your regular, run of the mill brownies. They’re moist, rich, and spicy. Their chocolate decadence is enhanced by the ground espresso, a necessary ingredient to bring out the full flavor of the chocolate. And the cinnamon and cayenne pepper give them a warmth that normal brownies just don’t have.

The heat is very mild. It’s subtle, and an amazing addition. Even if you’re not a fan of spice, give it a try. You’ll love them and your audience (if you choose to share them ~ absolutely no judgement if you don’t) will be extremely impressed with your creativity.

P.S. I love to tear recipes out of magazines, but of course I cannot remember which magazine graced me with this recipe. I have a horrible memory and the magazine title wasn’t listed anywhere on the page. Sorry!

Mexican Brownies (recipe care of ????)

INGREDIENTS: 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon each table salt and baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 8 ounces semisweet bar chocolate (chopped), 1 stick unsalted butter (cubed), 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder, 3 eggs (beaten), 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. Whisk together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and cayenne. Melt chocolate and butter with granulated sugar, brown sugar, and espresso powder in a saucepan over low heat. Off heat, stir in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture just until incorporated. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake brownies until a toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 25 minutes. Transfer brownies to a rack and let cool completely. Cut brownies into 16 squares.

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