by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
The Ultimate Brownie Book
A staple in some Texas bakeries, Chile Brownies are spicy and sweet, a combination perhaps unfamiliar to, well, other folks (aka Yankees). While kids might prefer simpler brownies, these have a peppery kick many grown-ups adore. We didn't skimp on the chocolate by an ounce. These brownies would be perfect after a barbecue dinner, a fajita supper, or a chile cook-off.Yield: Makes twenty-four 2 1/4 x 2 1/8-inch brownies
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for the pan
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon pure chile powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus additional for the pan, at room temperature
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped, or semisweet chocolate chips
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1. Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan; set it aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, chile powder, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
3. Place the butter and both kinds of chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. If you don't have a double boiler, place the butter and both kinds of chocolate in a heat-safe bowl that fits snugly over a small pot of simmering water. Stir constantly until half the butter and chocolate is melted. Remove the top of the double boiler or the bowl from the pot; then continue stirring, away from the heat, until the butter and chocolate are completely melted. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
4. Beat the sugar into the melted chocolate mixture with a whisk or with an electric mixer at medium speed; continue beating until smooth and silky, about 5 minutes by hand or 2 minutes with a mixer. Beat in the eggs until well incorporated.
5. With a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Do not beat. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it gently to the corners.
6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes.
7. Cut the brownies into 24 pieces while they're still in the pan. Carefully remove them with an offset spatula. Serve immediately, or let cool completely before covering with plastic wrap for storage at room temperature. They will stay fresh for up to 3 days. The brownies can be tightly wrapped in wax paper, sealed in a freezer-safe bag, and frozen for up to 2 months; allow them to thaw at room temperature before serving.
To vary this recipe
Add one or more of the following spices with the chile powder: 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon/2 teaspoons ground ginger/1 teaspoon grated nutmeg/1 teaspoon ground cloves
And/or Stir in 1 1/4 cups of any of the following mix-ins, or 1 1/4 cups any combination of the following mix-ins, with the flour mixture: chocolate-covered espresso beans/chopped banana chips/chopped candied chestnuts/chopped candied orange peel/chopped dried figs/chopped dried papaya/chopped dried prunes/chopped pecans/chopped toasted chickpeas/chopped toasted hazelnuts/chopped unsalted roasted peanuts/crumbled biscotti/dried cherries/Goobers/raisins/toasted pepitás
The Ultimate Brownie Book