September 7, 2009

Chocolate and cinnamon? I'm in.

Mexican Chocolate Brownies (from Bon Appetit, with a few changes) graced the table as the dessert for Chicken Tortilla Soup tonight. Yum yum yum!

For brownies

* 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
* 1 1/4 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
* 3 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3/4 cup all purpose flour
* 1 cup milk chocolate chips (about 6 ounces)

For brown sugar topping

* 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
* 1/4 cup whipping cream
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 3/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Make brownies:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil, extending foil over sides. Stir unsweetened chocolate and butter in heavy large saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Cool 5 minutes. Whisk in sugar, cinnamon, and pepper. Whisk in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Continue to whisk until batter is smooth, about 2 minutes. Add flour and whisk just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing surface. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack.

Make topping:
Whisk sugar, cream and butter in heavy small saucepan over low heat until mixture is smooth and comes to boil. Remove from heat; mix in vanilla. Cool 10 minutes. Whisk until thick enough to spread. Spread over brownie. Sprinkle with almonds. Let stand until topping sets, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)

Using foil as aid, life brownie from pan. Cut brownie into 16 squares. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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