Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit. ~Peter Ustinov
Year after year I give the same Valentine gift to Mr. Texas2Mexico... this year I was determined to make something a different. Smoking, smoldering & some sizzle make this a Brownie with a South of the Border kick!
When I first arrived in Mexico I remember calling a friend in Texas for her brownie recipe & trying to locate Hershey's Cocoa in the town we were living in then. She told me that with as much history has Mexico had going for it with Cocoa I should be able to find some great alternatives. The Mexican Cocoa we use for making Mexican Hot Cocoa isn't normally used for brownies however I found this addition made a good Brownie recipe even better. The Chipotle Peppers in this recipe make a crisp new flavor added to this old standard. I'm still using the Hershey's cocoa but the new flavors certainly kick the savory Brownies up a notch or two.
The Chipotle Peppers packed in Adobo Sauce I use are ground into a paste which makes adding into the batter easy. 2 things to remember. Before adding to the recipe taste the Chipotle, some of it can be likened to drinking straight from Hell's firehose! The Chipotle Peppers I used were almost mild in flavor so I was able to use the entire 4 inch long pepper. The very small cans of Chipotle peppers found in the states are small cans & they tend to be of the hotter than hot variety. If this is the case measure out no more than 2 tsp. into the Brownie mix. Don't worry about the seeds. What would any dish with chili peppers be without the seeds?
The Chipotles date back to region that is now northern Mexico City, prior to the Aztec civilization. It is conjectured that the Aztecs smoked the chilies because the thick, fleshy, jalapeno was difficult to dry and prone to rot. The Aztecs used the same "smoke drying" process for the chilies as they used for drying meats.**
The Fischer & Wieser Raspberry Chipotle Sauce I use in the Brownie frosting is a Texas original & is now sold in many fine grocery stores throughout the US, we can even find it in Northern Mexico. If you cannot locate it, go to the Website: www.jelly.com
CREAMY CHIPOTLE BROWNIES
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla
1 Chipotle Pepper in adobo, blend or process until it becomes a paste.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1, 2 oz. Round IBARRA or ABUELITA Mexican Chocolate, broken into pieces
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
RASPBERRY BROWNIE FROSTING(recipe follows)
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.
2. In food processor or blender grind the 2 oz. broken Mexican chocolate pieces with 1/2 sugar & then add to total cocoa & sugar mixture then proceed with rest of recipe. (Do not use more than 1 cup of Sugar total.) For Chipotle Pepper; drain, remove stem & process into a paste in the blender, adding water if needed to attain consistency of a paste. Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Add Chipotle Chili pepper, mix well distributing the pepper paste well through the mixture.. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts, if desired. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.Do not over bake, these are best when moist. Prepare RASPBERRY BROWNIE FROSTING; spread over brownies. Cut into squares. About 12-16 brownies.
RASPBERRY BROWNIE FROSTING
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
3 tablespoons HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1 tablespoon Fischer & Wieser Raspberry Chipotle Sauce or Raspberry Jam
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
Pecan halves for garnish
Beat butter, cocoa, Raspberry Chipotle Sauce (or Raspberry Jam) and vanilla in small bowl until blended. Add powdered sugar and milk; beat to spreading consistency. About 1 cup frosting. Frost Brownies when cooled & garnish with Pecans.
**Online info for Chipotle Pepper info. http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/chipotle.htm