Monday, November 16, 2015

Flourless Mexican Brownies

This was the dessert that I made for my Mexican-themed BYOI night with my friends.  It was a good recipe to make for a group that includes sweet tooths (sweet teeth?) and people with celiac disease!  These brownies are gluten-free, but fit our Mexican theme with their cayenne pepper and cinnamon.  I was a little worried about the spice being too much, but everyone said they were delicious.  And Dani didn't get sick; every time I cook or bake for her, I panic that my kitchen is covered with flour particles and she's going to get cross-contaminated and be sick, but luckily she was okay!

These brownies start off with semisweet chocolate melted on the stovetop with butter and sugar.  Eggs and vanilla get added, and don't panic if it looks absolutely terrible at this point, because mine did.  I thought for sure I didn't let it cool enough and I was going to be serving chocolate scrambled eggs.  It's okay!  Just beat the hell out of them when you add the cocoa powder, corn starch (secret weapon of gluten-free baking) and spices.  Beat until it starts to actually look like brownie batter - because it is.  Never fear.

The recipe calls for frosting, but I think it's highly unnecessary to frost brownies.  This chocolate frosting is also flavored with more cayenne and cinnamon.  I left it off, but I will still share the recipe in case you are feeling indulgent.  I think the brownies are plenty good, though.

The remnants of these brownies were brought to work and given to my coworkers.  Then I gave the rest of those to Laura to bring to her kids (proof that they aren't too spicy!).  Everyone thought they were pretty good, and found it hard to believe that they were flourless.  Impress the gluten-free friend in your life with these brownies (or give it to your flour-eaters; they'll never know).  They'll love you forever.


flourless Mexican brownies
from Spoonful of Flavor

for brownies:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
for frosting (optional):
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 unsweetened or Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons heavy cream


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8x8 square pan with foil and spray lightly with baking spray.

2) In a small saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter.  Stir in the sugar until incorporated.  Add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth.  Remove from heat and add the eggs, one at a time.  Add the vanilla extract and stir until incorporated.

3) While mixing, slowly add the cocoa powder, cornstarch, salt, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon.  Using a mixer on high speed, beat the batter until smooth and shiny, 1 to 2 minutes.

4) Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the brownies are set in the center.  Remove form oven and let cool in the pan for at least one hour.

5) To prepare the frosting, in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and beat on medium speed for one minute.  Slowly add the confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon.  Mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the heavy cream and mix until lightly and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Spread the frosting over the brownies, remove from pan, and slice before serving.

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