Mexican Brownies

I am freezing! I cannot believe how cold it is all of a sudden, and the weather report says that we will get a small flurry of snow tonight here in New York. I know that a lot of the country has already experienced snow fall in 2012 (Seattle with snow? Crazy!), but Kramer and I have been really hoping that it would continue to be warmer than usual so that we’d miss the snow entirely. Sadly, it looks as if our dreams are going to come crumbling down in a snowy haze. I suppose that’s to be expected, though. At least it doesn’t look like we’ll see the kind of storms that we got in the winter of 2010. I remember living in our old apartment, which was already a 15 minute walk from the subway, but when you added snow up to my knees, it became a 25 minute walk, carefully dodging ice and trudging through the unplowed streets. Thankfully, even if we do see a sudden turn for the worst, our apartment is just steps away from the subway now, so I just have to hope that they don’t get closed down by flooding or blocked tracks. Thanks, global warming!

I have made these brownies a few times before, and it always reminds me of the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine and Jerry have to settle for getting a cinnamon babka instead of the chocolate that they had originally wanted. Jerry tries to make Elaine feel better by saying, “Cinnamon. It should be on tables in restaurants along with salt and pepper. Anytime someone says, ‘Ooh, this is so good – what’s in this?’ the answer invariably comes back, ‘cinnamon.’ Cinnamon. Again and again.” To be honest, any time I bake with cinnamon, that episode comes to mind. I can’t say that I disagree with Jerry – I love cinnamon. I put it in my cappuccinos, on my oatmeal, on toast…anywhere that I feel a savory dish needs a little extra sweetness without actually adding sugar. So, why not add cinnamon to brownies? It seems like a natural combination, doesn’t it? Indeed, when I serve these brownies to my friends, they repeat the same question, “Ooh, this is so good – what’s in this?” and I dutifully answer, “Cinnamon.” They remind me of Mexican hot chocolate, which usually has a bit of cinnamon and cayenne pepper thrown in. You can definitely add a pinch of cayenne pepper to these, too, for a bit of a kick, but I skipped out on that this time because all I wanted was that wonderful cinnamon. Surprise your friends and family with these Mexican brownies and I promise, they will ask you the same question!

Mexican Brownies
Your ingredients.

Mexican Brownies
Melt together your butter and chocolate.

Mexican BrowniesMexican Brownies
Whisk together your flour, salt, cocoa powder, and cinnamon.

Mexican Brownies
Whisk your sugars into your hot chocolate mixture until they have fully dissolved.

Mexican Brownies
Then whisk in your eggs.

Mexican Brownies
Fold the chocolate gently into your dry mixture.

Mexican Brownies
Spread the batter into your 9×13 lined and greased pan, and sprinkle with a little fleur de sel, if you like.

Mexican Brownies
Bake until the brownies no longer jiggle in the pan, and allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.

Mexican Brownies
I bet you wish you had a glass of milk right about now.

Mexican Brownies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 36
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon (a little goes a long way - trust me)*
  • 11 ounces chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon fleur de sel, for sprinkling (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line and/or grease sides and bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon (and cayenne pepper, if you are using it). Set aside.
  2. Put the chocolate and room temperature butter in a non-stick sauce pot and place over low-heat. Stir often to prevent burning until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. You can also use a double boiler, if you have one, but I am lazy and usually use this method. Make sure your butter is room temperature before you put it in, though, or it and the chocolate will burn! Turn off the heat and whisk in the sugars. Whisk until completely combined. Don't be afraid if the mixture separates a little bit. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Whisk in your eggs, one at a time, until completely combined. You can transfer everything to your stand mixer for this, if you want, but if you are like me and hate having to wash even one extra dish, a little elbow grease will do the trick, too. Add in the vanilla and whisk until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey, which is the opposite of what we want (fudgy!).
  4. Add the flour to the chocolate mixture a bit at a time. Using the paddle attachment on your mixer (or by hand, if you're a champion), beat the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible. Finish by hand if you need to - do NOT overbeat!
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a greased spatula. Sprinkle some fleur de sel, if you like. Bake in the center of the oven for 30-40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it.
  6. Take the brownies out and place on a baking rack while still in the pan (if you don't have a baking rack, don't worry about it, I just like to use one so the air circulates under the brownies and they cool faster). Allow the brownies to cool completely, then cut them into squares and serve. These keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days (and, to be honest, I think that they are even better the next day).

30 Responses

  1. Mandy says:

    Did you use Mexican vanilla in these? It looks like the same bottle as ours in your picture. I am going to have to try these since I LOVE cinnamon and my fiancรฉ has been begging me to make brownies ever since we got Mexican vanilla :) Thanks for another fantastic recipe!

  2. Adrienne says:

    These look great! I love adding cinnamon to chocolate almost as much as I love adding coffee to chocolate. Two great combinations!

  3. Tania says:

    What kind of chocolate did you use for these brownies?

  4. Deanna B says:

    Yum! I love cinnamon. And chocolate. Especially together. Just should you feel inspired to feed these to a tiger, remember they hate cinnamon. They love pepper.

  5. Love this. But I was also wondering if you used Ibarra? I tried a similar recipe with Ibarra but didn’t care for the texture of the finished product. I love that you used Mexican vanilla and I’m a huge fan of ‘Baked’ as well. Cheers! :)

    • Sydney says:

      I have never heard of it, but it looks more like a chocolate bar than baking chocolate? I’m sure that despite the texture they were still delicious!

  6. I’m actually looking forward to the the little bit of snow- I figure if it is this cold out already, it might as well snow! These brownies would be the perfect thing to enjoy in my warm apartment:-)

  7. Kim says:

    These look delicious (Like all of the food you make)! I’m planning on make these today after dinner. Funny that you should mention Seattle, I am located in Tacoma, about 30 miles south, and this snow is crazy! Hopefully these brownies will warm us up! Thank you!

  8. Leah says:

    I add cinnamon to my pancake batter! Also to muffins, sometimes.

    Depends on the muffin. :)

  9. liz says:

    Yum! We love Mexican hot chocolate – these look like a perfect brownie version of our favorite recent drink.

  10. Just reading your post now, and yep, its snowing outside. Don’t know how you are faring but on our side of the Hudson we have about 2 inches right now. I guess I shouldn’t complain. Remember this time last year? It seemed every weekend in January we were getting buried under inches of snow. Ugh. I’m with you though – can’t wait for the warm weather.

    We’ll, I’ve got my glass of milk but none of these brownies! I love cinnamon – I put it in my hot chocolate and in many of my cookie recipes. Never tried in my brownies, now I’ll have to :)
    Keep warm!

  11. Simply Tia says:

    Beautiful job on these brownies…they look just amazingly rich and decadent. I bet they’re superrrrrr good too!!!

  12. Kindra says:

    I just made these brownies this weekend and I had to let you know that they were SO GOOD! They were delicious on their own and made for some great brownie ice cream sundaes as well. I will definitely make them again. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Nicola says:

    After keeping a hungry eye on your blog for six months, everything finally fell into place and I actually got to make one of your recipes – this one! And what a great way to start, 3pm at work never tasted so fiery!

  14. MARION says:

    These sound soooooooooo delicious. Cannot wait until dinner is over so I can make these as a delayed dessert for tonight

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