Mexican Chocolate and Cherry Brownies

Mexican Chocolate and Cherry Brownies

Adapted from a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated magazine

Ooey gooey and laced with cinnamon and chili powder, these brownies have dried tart cherries tucked inside and cocoa nibs sprinkled on top. If you like things with a little kick, you can add a dash of cayenne pepper.

Makes 24 2-by-2-inch brownies

  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar or evaporated cane juice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup cocoa nibs (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, allowing excess to hang over at least two edges of the pan. Coat the foil with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, chili powder, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl set over a saucepan over simmering water, combine the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and whisk in the sugar. One at a time, whisk in the eggs. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in three additions, folding with a spatula until the batter is smooth and homogeneous. Fold in the cherries.

Transfer to the prepared pan, spreading it into the corners of the pan and smoothing in the surface. Sprinkle the cocoa nibs, if using, on top and bake until a tester inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs (not with batter or completely dry; just a few moist crumbs), 35 to 40 minutes.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, then remove the brownies from the pan by lifting the foil overhang. Cut the brownies into squares and serve. (You can store the brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to several months.)