Brownies à la Austin

Okay, so most people would probably call these “Mexican Hot Chocolate” Brownies, but I’ve never been to Mexico. And spicy food reminds me of Austin, so I shall call these what I want, since I adapted this recipe to suit myself.

I turned in the keys to my apartment yesterday. I can’t say that means I’ve “moved in” to my new house, ’cause there are boxes everywhere. But I have moved out of the apartment. And in spite of the complete chaos that is my house right now, after a hellacious week of moving, I figured that christening my new kitchen would make me feel better about life. I was right.

2016-10-24-moving-boxes
My kitchen floor until about 2 hours ago (24 hours after baking).

I’m back-logged on posting, but I made some peanut butter swirl brownies like two weeks ago that everyone else really liked. I felt like the peanut butter was kind of overwhelming, but I wanted to give the brownie base another shot.

The brownie base is good – nice and fudgy and gooey, as brownies should be. I don’t think I’d like them plain, though. Not enough chew to be fully satisfying as straight chocolate. Dorothy of Crazy For Crust has posted all sorts of variations on the base involving everything from Oreos to interesting frostings. I wasn’t in the mood for an additional step (in terms of frosting), nor do I love frosting on brownies, nor did I want to go to the store… So.

Adding spice to chocolate is a trick I picked up back in Texas, and it was an easy way to give these brownies a bit of pizazz without having to track down ingredients or dirty another bowl. The cinnamon really comes through, and with just a hint of chile pepper, they end up spicy without being overwhelmingly so.

My improv group benefitted from the experiment, as did my baking-deprived soul. So it turned out a win-win, and I’ll definitely make these again.

Brownies à la Austin (adapted from Crazy for Crust)

Grade: A

  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (you can up this to a 1/2 tsp for more pronounced heat)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350° degrees.

Butter or spray a 9×13 pan, or an 8×8 pan if you want thicker brownies. Or, you can line them with foil, if that’s your thing.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and chocolates together and stir until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, and chile powder and stir well. Fold in the flour until just incorporated.

Spread the batter in the prepared pan. For the 9×13, bake about 25 minutes, (27-29 for the 8×8) until a toothpick 2 inches from the outside of the pan comes out clean.

Let cool before cutting and then enjoy!

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