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Friday, August 8, 2014

Cinnamon Chile Brownies

Cinnamon Chile Brownies | The Sweets Life
Cinnamon Chile Brownies

If you asked me my favorite dessert, I probably wouldn’t say brownies. (Duh. I’d say ice cream!) Even when I think about my favorite non-ice cream desserts, brownies still wouldn’t make the top of the list. That being said, I seem to be on a bit of a brownie kick lately. And by brownie kick, I mean “can’t get enough of them, have a list of at least four more brownie recipes waiting to try”. First there were the oatmeal brownie bars, which I’m still thinking about and planning to make again soon!
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Cinnamon Chile Brownies | The Sweets Life
My mom’s friend Brenda (Brenda, can I claim you as my friend too?!?) introduced us to this recipe and after we had them for my cousin’s bridal shower, I drove back to St. Louis, couldn't stop thinking about them, and made them again two days later. Although their official title is Cinnamon Chile Brownies, in our house we've dubbed them "Brenda's Brownies"...you can call them that too!

My use of the rainbow jimmies kind of reminded me of the cosmic brownies I made awhile back, but these brownies have a special ingredient…cayenne powder! Before you immediately dismiss this recipe because of that odd-sounding addition, hear me out. It works. A few years ago I made a Mexicanbrownie bottom cheesecake that had a little spiciness to it and I remember what a delightful surprise it was for taste testers. The same could be said here. You’ll bite and taste the intense chocolate on chocolate on chocolate, a triple whammy with chocolate chips studded throughout and ganache on top. Then, just as you swallow, you’ll get a hint of heat in the back of your throat. It’s just enough to notice, but not startle you, and it tastes like it belongs.
Cinnamon Chile Brownies | The Sweets Life

These are best served chilled, and also freeze well. And if you think freezing them will keep you from eating them, think again…I actually found them most addictive straight from the freezer!

One Year Ago: Linguine with Summer Vegetables and Goat Cheese and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Two Years Ago: Fudgy Cosmic Brownies and Kentucky Style Turkey Burgers with Redeye Bourbon Onions & Cheddar (our FAVORITE!)
Three Years Ago: Chocolate / Peanut Butter Covered Pretzel Oreo Cheesecake Bites and Healthified Zucchini Bread 
Four Years Ago: Grilled Calzones and Cranberry Coleslaw

Cinnamon Chile Brownies

Printer-Friendly Recipe
-2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
-2 cups sugar
-4 large eggs
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

for the ganache-
-2 cups heavy cream
-2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a nonstick saucepan over medium-low heat (do not boil!). Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before stirring in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
3. Mix in the cocoa, flour, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt, and baking powder, mixing until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out fudgy. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
4. To make the ganache frosting, place chocolate chips in a large bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate, stirring until smooth. Allow ganache to cool slightly before pouring over cooled brownies. Spread evenly and chill until ganache sets (note--ganache will seem too liquidy at first...give it a few hours and it will firm up in the fridge!)
5. Cut brownies into small squares and serve.