I know, I know.
I should be talking about low fat, low calorie, low carb food. It is the New Year, after all. Time to make changes, get healthy, exercise more, drink less, take vitamins, and eat more fiber.
I have PLENTY of time to do that this year, but right now, I’m still reveling in the very last indulgence of the holiday season.
Last night, I rang in the New Year at a Mexican-themed party with good friends. We had Mexican food, lots of guacamole (a delicacy to this locavore) and Margaritas. I believe some hot sauce made its way into a bottle of Corona at one point (it was deemed “drinkable”).
To end the meal, I brought the perfect New Year’s Eve finger food–brownies. But not just any old brownies. Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies, complete with cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and a whipped cream topper.
Do yourself a favor and start 2013 off the right way: make these brownies. (And then go for a run. If you must.)
Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies
(Recipe adapted from MY favorite Mexican, Aaron Sanchez)
For the brownies:
2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for greasing (I used local butter, of course)
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs (local, pasture-fed eggs for me!)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (mine was heaping)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
Make the brownies:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with butter. Be generous.
Melt the 2 sticks of butter in a nonstick saucepan over medium-low heat. Don’t boil. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla to the saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa, flour, cinnamon, chili powder, salt and baking powder. Add this to the wet ingredients in the saucepan and mix until smooth.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out fudgy, 25 minutes. Cool in the pan before slicing.
Make the whipped cream:
Pour the whipping cream into a chilled bowl. Using a whisk and some elbow grease, whisk the cream until peaks are just about to form. Add the confectioners sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. Serve as a dip with the brownies.