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!


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