Viva Los Brownies!

I’ve always had a slight obsession with the combination of spicy and sweet… it had lay dormant for a bit & was reawakened over Cinco de Mayo weekend. I hit my local Scooters coffee drive-thru to find a new concoction: the Fiesta Chai Blender! So it’s a iced & blended chai with a touch of what they call “sweet heat”. Turns out it’s a sweet & spicy (Yes!) syrup made with ghost peppers! My mouth was confused (It’s cold & creamy! No! Wait! It’s hot!!!) but delighted. Scooters, you need to keep that “sweet heat” syrup around at all times because I am enamored!!

In keeping with this theme, my wheels started to turn of what else I could make with this sweet/spicy/chocolatey combo. Thanks to Pinterest (By the way, are you following me on Pinterest yet?) I found a few recipes for Mexican Brownies, including this one by Aaron Sanchez (of Chopped fame). These soft, sweet, chocolatey brownies are enhanced by a bit of cinnamon and a kick of cayenne. I have a slight inkling to increase the cayenne the next time I bake these, just a little, because the spice was just a slight hint at the end.

Mexican Brownies

(adapted from a recipe by Aaron Sanchez)

Makes 16-18 brownies


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • cooking spray, like Pam
  • 2 C granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (Use Mexican vanilla if you can find it.)
  • 2/3 C unsweeted cocoa powder
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9X13 pan and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a nonstick saucepan over medium-low heat; do not bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla to the saucepan and whisk until combined.  IMG_0579
  3. Add the dry ingredients (cocoa, flour, cinnamon, chili powder, salt and baking powder) to the saucepan and using a tempered rubber spatula, mix until smooth.  IMG_0580
  4. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out fudgy but not wet.  IMG_0581
  5. Cool in the pan on a rack, for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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