Fudgy Mexican brownies

The Boyd Clan gathered here at St Lou today for a feast of Jon’s famous chili, homemade cornbread, and these fabulously fudgy Mexican brownies I adapted from a no-fail Martha Stewart recipe. The cinnamon and hint of cayenne were a yummy way to end the meal, and the frosting just takes them over the top. But you can make a standard version with no cinnamon or cayenne, and you can even skip the frosting. It’s a winner every which way!

Fudgy brownies

Photo: Standard brownie, sans Mexican spices and frosting.

Fudgy Mexican Brownies

1/2 c butter
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (I’m a devotee of Nestle Tollhouse chips)
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1 1/4 c sugar
3 eggs
3/4 c flour
3/4 t salt
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 fat pinch cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom and sides of an 8×8 baking pan with foil. Grease the foil, making sure to get the corners good; set aside.

Melt 1/2 cup butter and chocolate chips in microwave or in saucepan. (Here’s how I do it: put chips in a big pyrex bowl, microwave one minute. Add stick of butter to bowl, microwave one more minute. Stir until smooth.) In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne.

Whisk in the sugar, and then the eggs (one at a time) and vanilla extract into the chocolate mixture. (Note: I find that the brownies turn out fudgier when I whisk this by hand rather than in a mixer.) Add flour mixture and stir until combined. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake 45-50 minutes.

In the meantime, make the frosting:

3 T butter
2 T cream
6 oz chocolate chips

Place chocolate chips in a medium-sized bowl. Heat butter and cream in a small saucepan until just starting to boil. Pour over chocolate chips; cover with plate for 1-2 minutes. Whisk until smooth. (Sometimes I need to pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds if I’m having smoothness issues.)

Cool brownies in pan. Spread frosting on top; refrigerate until firm. Remove brownies from pan by lifting up foil and peeling it off. Cut into 16 squares (or even more — these are pretty rich). Enjoy with a big glass of milk and don’t eat too many of them or you’ll make yourself sick!

Note: this recipe doubles well in a 9×13 pan — no need to add extra baking time.

Fudgy Mexican brownies

Photo: Everybody loves Fudgy Mexican Brownies!