A couple of weeks ago I came across a recipe for a Mexican Skillet Cookie. I have some Mexican chocolate leftover from an earlier recipe and decided I had to make the spicy chocolate cookie right then. Finding I had a cast iron skillet that was slightly too big and another one that was slightly too small, I opted to halve the recipe and use the smaller pan to resist the temptation to eat a giant skillet full of cookie.
Placing my little cast iron skillet in the oven, I set off to the back of the house to patiently wait for my spicy-sweet treat. Twenty minutes I later I went to check on the cookie and instead of an ooey-gooey giant cookie I found a skillet full of chocolate goo that was oozing over its edges and onto the oven floor in big splats where they were quickly becoming charred embers. Oh, and there were flames too. Nothing too scary, but fire in your home isn't a good thing, now is it? Disgusted by both the mess I would have to clean up and my cooking failure, I went to bed without a snack.
Determined to get my spicy chocolate fix, I went trolling the internet for a brownie that would satisfy my craving. Enter this recipe for Mexican Brownies. It was exactly what I was looking for; an easy chocolate recipe amped up with a little spice.
I love this recipe. I love that it uses nothing but basic ingredients (which I bet you already have), I love how simple they were to prepare, and last, but certainly least, I love how delicious they are. Slightly fudgey, slightly cakey, chocolately, and just spicy enough. At first bite you are hit with the chocolate deliciousness that is the very essence of a brownie and may only get a twinge of heat, but wait for it. A warm heat slowly creeps across your tongue. Aye carumba!
very slightly adapted from Aaron Sanchez, Food Network Magazine
2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Mexican cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving overhang on two sides. Press the paper into the corners of the pan and lightly grease with butter.
Melt the butter in a saucepan or large bowl. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla to bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
Whisk the cocoa, flour, cinnamon, chili powder or cayenne pepper, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl until combined. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and stir until smooth. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out fudgy, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack, then use the parchment paper to lift the brownies out of the pan.