Spice up your life by adding cinnamon, orange zest, and a little cayenne to your brownies.
These may not be the prettiest, most perfectly cut brownies I’ve ever shared on my blog, but that’s because I made these in a hurry for a party and didn’t have time to let them cool completely to room temperature in order to achieve those crisp clean cuts. Nor did I have time to put them on a fancy plate and toy with tablescapes and all that jazz. But you know what? All you need to know is that these brownies did not stand a chance. I thought to myself, oh I will just take pictures later with some leftover pieces and make them look pretty. Well that would have worked if there had been any left. I had intended to then remake them to get said non-real-life photos but decided we all could use a dose of reality – not everything delicious has to be picture perfect! But I will probably still remake these sometime in the future and maybe snap some new photos. But I digress.
Mexican brownies have a bit of spice to them which at first may be intimidating to the non-adventurous palate, but the spices included are not necessarily all heat-spice. You have cinnamon and orange zest in addition to the tiny bit of heat contributed by the cayenne pepper. I toned it down a little just in case and added half of what the original recipe called for and I think it was the perfect balance. Enough spice to excite your tastebuds but not enough to be weirdly hot-spicy for a dessert. And to make things even better, I topped it off with a scoop of dulce de leche Indulgence ice cream!
Two years ago: No-Bake Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Pie
Four years ago: Flourless Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Six years ago: Cake Batter Chocolate Bark
Makes 24 brownies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1-3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp orange zest
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1-1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp instant espresso coffee granules
4 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 13×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper with an overhang on opposite sides and coat with nonstick spray; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, orange zest, and cayenne pepper; set aside.
- Place butter and chocolate into a medium glass bowl and place over a pot of very gently simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Pour into a larger bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Once cooled, add both of the sugars and instant espresso and whisk until well blended.
- Add one egg at a time, then vanilla, whisking until blended. Next, whisk in dry ingredients until just incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with some moist crumbs.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then use the overhanging parchment to lift the brownies out. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
Source: Adapted slightly from The Cozy Apron.