Mexican Chocolate Brownies w/ Blood Orange Icing

Henry & I don't celebrate Valentine's day in the traditional sense of a Hallmark card, a heart shaped box of chocolates and a dozen roses.

However, we do celebrate our love thru baked goods (and an occasional handbag).

I made these amazing Mexican chocolate brownies last year, and it was time to make them again for Valentine's day.

Mexican chocolate is a love or hate thing.

It is spicy, and has cinnamon and chile powder or cayenne pepper in the mix.

If you use the wrong chiles you can make or break this recipe, so learn to really love your chile powder before committing.

I used Aaron Sanchez's recipe, and used cayenne pepper, because I did not have the Pequin chile powder that he recommends, however, I did have Mexican cinnamon.

These were excellent.

I cut them into heart shapes and glazed them with blood orange icing. No food coloring involved, just squeeze a few tablespoons of a blood orange into some confectioner's sugar and voila! everything is pretty in pink.

Feel free to use your favorite brownie recipe and just add the cinnamon and cayenne pepper to the recipe.

It's key to use parchment paper in this recipe to line the baking dish, it will make the edges crispy, and you will be able to lift out the brownies once they are cooled to a cutting board so you can cut into heart shapes.

Get to work!

Mexican Chocolate Brownies w/ Blood Orange Icing (makes enough for a 9 x 13 pan)

2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground Mexican cinnamon (canela)
1/4- 1/2 teaspoon pequin chili powder or cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350F 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 (I forgot to grease the paper, and there was no sticking at all).

Melt the 2 sticks of butter in a nonstick saucepan over medium-low heat or in the microwave. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla to the saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.

Add the cocoa, flour, cinnamon, chili powder, salt and baking powder and mix until smooth.

Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out fudgy, 25-30 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a rack, then use the parchment paper to lift out the brownies before cutting into shapes with your cookie cutter.

If you want to ice the brownies, then just mix 3 tablespoons of blood orange juice w/ 1 cup of confectioners sugar. Mix with a fork then put into a ziploc bag.

Place the icing into the corner of the ziploc to form a pastry bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag to make a piping tip and drizzle in a zig zag pattern, or make initials or whatever you like!

Let the icing completely harden before serving.

I think I ate 6 of these. Amazingly good and so easy.


Anonymous said…
Who ate the remnants after you had punched out all the hearts?

You know, those leftover scraps that have no calories?

Blood orange icing is pink and PERFECTION!

Katie C. said…
I agree no calories! Or you could make baby trifles.
Natalia said…
Fun idea for V-day! We generally go out to dinner (sometimes with our girls). This year, we're hosting a party at our house in the Catskills for our closest friends who will be up there skiing. Getting a reservation over a holiday weekend in a restaurant up there will be next to impossible, at least at the good places, so we opted for a party.

I'm going to make these for dessert - they look fabulous! Pictures to come..
Stacey Snacks said…
We both ate the scraps (best part!). I would never waste them.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Carolyn said…
Love the idea of blood orange juice for the icing instead of food coloring! A little orange flavor with the spicy chocolate sounds great.
Unknown said…
These are so good! I made them in a 9 by 9 pan, so mine were so thick I could barely cut through with the cookie cutter. The blood orange icing is the best. Bonus for the first use of fruit from one of my new trees, too.
Stacey Snacks said…
Library Lady!
You have a blood orange tree? I am officially jealous!!!!

Unknown said…
We just planted them in June. The harvest so far: 5 blood oranges, 3 Meyer lemons, 1 lime, 7 mandarin oranges. As a former Jersey girl, it's a bit of a thrill to have citrus growing outside my door!