Chocolate Chile and Cinnamon Brownies are the perfect treat to serve on Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo, which is Spanish for the fifth of May, is a Mexican holiday celebrating the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Even though Cinco de Mayo isn’t a holiday in other parts of the world, many still celebrate by serving Mexican food at parties and gatherings.
The pairing of chocolate and cinnamon in desserts and beverages is classic Mexican. Many Mexican dishes also use chilies, both dried and fresh. Besides chocolate and cinnamon, these unique, but fabulous brownies contain New Mexico Chile Powder which give the brownies a subtle bite. Please don’t make the mistake of using chili powder in these brownies. What’s the difference? According to Mark R. Vogel in his essay, What’s in a Name?, “Chile powder is not chili powder, (notice the spelling). Chile powder is nothing but dried chile peppers. Chili powder is a mixture of chile powder and other spices, usually garlic, oregano, coriander, cumin and cloves”.
The best way to serve these brownies is with a scoop of highest quality vanilla ice cream. For a really special party dessert, top the brownie squares with ice cream, then drizzle with a generous amount of warm ganache (recipe follows). Add a little whipped cream (real, of course – don’t cheapen the dish by using frozen whipped topping which, incidentally, is an abomination and should not be considered a viable foodstuff!), and a sprinkling of chopped nuts. Add a maraschino cherry for color as well as a sprig of mint.
1 cup butter
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons New Mexican chili powder
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped walnut(s)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon New Mexican chili powder
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with Baker's Joy or grease and flour.
- Heat the butter and chocolate in a microwaveable container on high for about 2 minutes; stir until melted.
- Meanwhile, mix the sugar, salt, flour, chile powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the chocolate/butter mixture, vanilla, and eggs.
- Mix well, then stir in the walnuts.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking dish.
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted halfway between the edge and the center comes out clean.
- Mix the powdered sugar and chili powder.
- Sprinkle over the brownies.
- Cut into 32 squares.
These brownies are delicious served warm or cold.
For Ganache ice cream topping: Place 1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate in a microwaveable container. Cover with 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream. Microwave on high power for 3 minutes. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth and slightly thickened. If the mixture is too thick, add warmed heavy cream until the right consistency is reached.
Nutritional Information (without ice cream or ganache):
Amount Per Serving:
Calories 189 Calories from Fat 105
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 56% Protein 5% Carb. 39%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 5 g
Cholesterol 35 mg
Sodium 106 mg
Total Carbohydrate 19 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 2 g
Vitamin A 8% Vitamin C 1% Calcium 0% Iron 5%