Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mexican Mocha Brownies

My Mexican Mocha Brownies <3
First of all, allow me to apologize for the delay in posts. I had no idea how busy the end of the school year would be! It didn't stop me from baking and cooking, but it did keep me from blogging. So my next couple of entries will be things I didn't have time to write about in the past few weeks. I apologize to all of my readers, especially those who are "reading for two" like my sister Erin! It is my goal this summer to bake and blog like crazy to make up for a slow spring!! So without further ado...a post for you!

A good Mexican Mocha is one of my favorite coffee drinks, mostly because it’s delicious but also because I have great memories of sharing them with my best friends. My first Mexican Mocha experience was in Cuernavaca, Mexico with my best friend Kelly. She was studying abroad for the spring of our sophomore year and I remember hearing all about these delicious blended coffee drinks that she was having all the time in Cuernavaca. I went to spend a long weekend with her during Lent and had given up chocolate and coffee that year…which was one of my worst ideas ever! Anyway, down there in Mexico with my best friend, I couldn’t resist this tasty treat. 

Somewhere around the same time, Java Junction opened up in Evergreen, near my parents’ house. There hot Mexican Mocha was to die for, and my friends and I from high school started to make it a tradition to meet there when we were all home from college. More often than not, the store would be closed by the time we got there, but just the idea of the Mexican Mocha brought us together.

So, when we were having a Mexican themed potluck at work, I had to come up with something amazing. I’d never made flan and tres leches cake weird me out a little, so I decided to try to create something new and different. I searched online for Mexican desserts, and came across a recipe from the Food Network for Aaron Sanchez’s Mexican Brownies. I tweaked the recipe, combining it with Giada de Laurentiis’ Espresso Brownies to create my very own Mexican Mocha Brownies.

Now, I like spicy foods a whole lot, but I wasn’t sure how spicy brownies should be. In the end, I thought that some of heat would cook out, so I made the batter a little extra hot. When you bite into these brownies, you first taste the chocolate as it overwhelms your tongue. Then you can taste the coffee waking you up. Finally, as you swallow, you feel the heat in your throat. When all is said and done, you have a mocha aftertaste that leaves you wanting one more brownie.

I hope you enjoy these unique treats as much as my friends, family, and coworkers did‼ Let me know what you think if you try it out!

Side note: Please excuse the poor photo quality in this post. My camera battery was dead, so I had to use my iPhone. Usually the iPhone takes great pictures, but it wasn't cooperating well this time. Sorry!!

Mexican Mocha Brownies
2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons espresso powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. Press the paper into the corners of the pan and lightly grease the paper with butter.

Melt the 2 sticks of butter in a nonstick saucepan over medium-low heat; do not boil. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Slow and steady wins the race!

Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla to the saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.

The eggs and the vanilla really give it a nice golden color.
Add the cocoa powder, flour, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne pepper, espresso powder, salt and baking powder and mix until smooth.
Before we mix...
After we mix until smooth! Mmm delicious!

Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out fudgy, 18 to 20 minutes.
Buttering the parchment paper made spreading the batter in the pan a breeze!

Remember: these brownies should be taken out when still a little clean toothpicks here!
Cool in the pan on a rack, then use the parchment paper to lift out the brownies before slicing.

Fudgy on the inside, slightly crisp on the outside. Delicious all the way through!
Thanks for reading!!

<3 Buttercup

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