Sunday, December 9, 2012

Baked Sunday Mornings: Spicy Brownies

 What size would you like? 
Look at that nice, clean cut...these are perfect brownies!

Growing up in the West, I’ve always loved Mexican foods with flavorful spices and lots of color, but their pastries and baked goodies are lacking.  They have less sugar and, in general, less spice.  They are beautiful, but are often dry and always lack “something,” in my opinion.  For example: I purchased some beautiful cinnamon rolls not to long ago at the Mexican market.  The cinnamon part was great, however, there was no sugar and no butter in that wound up dough bun.  Not what I expected.  And the frosting was something like powdered sugar, shortening, with a little water.  Bleahhhhh!

But the marriage of good  American brownies and a Southwestern flare in the spices department is a wonderful combination.  I’ve always loved spicy brownies, however, I’ve not tried ancho chile powder, only regular chile powder in the past.  And, I’ve not added ginger to my brownies, so this is a new flavor combination for me.

Not too long ago, my daughter, Emmie Lou Who, spent 18 months in Taiwan and while there she introduced her new friends to American baking; specifically brownies which were her specialty.  The Taiwan cuisine uses stovetop cooking and no ovens.  Thus, no baked goods.  They have steamed buns, but few sweets.  There are bakeries, but no brownies.  Emmie was asked to bring brownies wherever she went...the church kitchen had an oven that she was allowed to use.  For fun, she held brownie and cookie baking classes often. Emmie made lots of friends!

Another daughter, Frolicking Night Owl, is our family brownie specialist.  I quit baking brownies as hers are always so much better...and the last  two times I’ve baked them, I’ve not liked crusty on top and too gooey in the middle.  I like to try new recipes, but my past two trials have failed miserably.  My owl bakes them in so many ways and so often that I have taken brownie baking out of my repertoire.  

But for today, I was excited to bake this recipe, as these spicy brownies have a huge appeal to me, and I need a treat for later when my family all comes for Sunday dinner.  The Owl’s family will be here, and I need to be competitive...not winning, but at least have edible brownies that they will enjoy.

When I pulled the brownies from the oven, #2 Son was in the kitchen and said, “What’s that?”  Everyone here knows I don’t do brownies.  I told him about the spices within, and he was quite delighted.  Hard to let them cool before cutting in!  They did look beautiful.  A lovely shiny top, but not that crusty top so loved by many bakers who seem to love anything that says “brownie” in the recipe title.  I did not want cakey brownies, but also did not want them to be too gooey.

The verdict: These are great brownies!  Everyone loves them.  The spicy is not really very spicy, but contributes subtly to the whole flavor of this brownie, creating a phenomenal overall taste.

I’m back in the brownie baking business at my house...well I could be.  The Baked Boys have really good brownie recipes...I should quit trying out new recipes and stick with theirs.  But, I won’t tell the Owl I baked these great brownies or she might quit baking them for me so often.

These spicy brownies are good enough to go on my Christmas cookie platters.  I’m fussy about what gets on these platters.  These brownies are winners!

I love this December time of year.  I’m sure that with these brownies you are all staying on the “Nice List!”  Have a wonderful week!!!


  1. Great looking brownies, I only made half the recipe because I knew I would want to eat the whole thing.

  2. When I saw your photo, the first thing I thought was, what a beautiful, shiny, crackly topping yours have! I love these.

  3. Congrats on being back in the brownie making business! hee hee. It is a great recipe. Your brownies look awesome.

  4. Brownies seem like an excellent way to make new friends. Glad your brownies turned out well, they look delicious!

  5. guess i missed a sample of these. i did try a brownie recipe ... maybe for TWD that I still haven't blogged about .... life is too CrAzY!!

  6. I opted for the Peanut Butter version and they turned out great, too. I think the real trick to getting nicely cut brownies is to lift the out of the pan - who knew?

    I'm so glad your back~!