Grain-free Spicy Mexican Brownies

Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by

I have an idea! Let’s combine the absolute BEST flavors in the world into one gooey blob of goodness, slice it up and eat it. You’re in?! Cool.

Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by

I would just like to point out that in addition to featuring a rich, dark chocolate and a subtle kick of Mexican spices, these brownies are grain-free! That is what I call a #cocinadecellaTRIFECTA, amigos.

Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by

I stumbled upon this recipe by The Food Network’s Áaron Sanchez while trying to come up with a menu for my DΓ­a de la Candelaria feast. You can read about the holiday here, but, to put it simply, I found a baby Jesus figurine in my slice of the Rosca de Reyes bread (cake?) on Three King’s Day a few weeks ago, which designated me as the host for this subsequent feast. In Mexican tradition, the host usually makes tamales and atole for his or her guests. I’ve never had atole before but reading about it gave me the shivers (haha… seriously. have you had this before? I need details). I very seriously considered making tamales, but I had already made some a couple of months ago and really wanted to use this opportunity to experiment with other Mexican recipes. THUS: spicy brownies. I also made chicken fajita empanadas (gluten-free), a simple but fresh avocado salad, the best black beans I’ve ever tasted, and QUINOA CON LECHE. I posted pictures on my instagram (@cocinadecella), so perhaps you already know this. Would you like me to share any of the other recipes? Let me know!

Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by

Back to the recipe! The first time I made these I followed the directions to the tee, nervous to mess up what appeared to be such a well-reviewed recipe. Second time around, I made these brownies my b!$#& with two simple steps: I quadrupled the amount of chili and replaced the wheat flour with almond meal and a bit of xanthan gum. The result? Deep, dark, chocolatey brownies that are nutty, dense, rich with cinnamon spice and packing HEAT! Yes.

Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by

Modified from Aaron Sanchez

- 1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter

- 2 cups sugar

- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

- 4 eggs, beaten

- 2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

- 1 teaspoon cinnamon

- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

- 1 cup of almond meal

- 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum

- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

- 1/2 teaspoon salt

Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 13 x 9 pan with foil. You don’t have to line it with foil but I have found that this makes the brownies easier to remove from the pan once you’re done. Spray cooking spray all over the pan/foil. You can also use butter but that would require a bit more elbow grease.

Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by

Melt the butter over medium heat on your stove. Do not bring to a boil! Once all the butter has melted, remove from heat.

Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by

Add sugar, vanilla and eggs, being sure to mix well between each addition. I also like to add the eggs in very slowly as a I mix, as I’ve noticed that adding eggs to a hot mixture can cause them to scramble (ew!).

Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by
Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by
Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by

Add the cocoa, cinnamon, and chili powder and mix.

Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by

Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by

Add the almond meal, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. Mix until just combined (overmixing can cause you to deactivate the baking powder, which would prevent your brownies from rising). Short anecdote: I used the almond meal that I created while making almond milk a few weeks back! So glad to finally have an opportunity to use it!

Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by

Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by
Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by

Pour brownie batter into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven (I pulled mine out after about 24 minutes).

Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by

Let cool before eating if you can resist — you can appreciate the intricacies of the flavor so much more when they’re at room temp! I’d suggest placing on a wire rack for ten minutes and then transferring to the fridge for 30 minutes or so. From there, set them on the counter and allow them to come to room temp. If they don’t disappear immediately, leave them on the counter in some tupperware until they do.

Grain-Free Spicy Mexican Brownies by

What do you think? Would you try a spicy brownie or is that too weird for you?

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About Marcella Thompkins

Preserving family recipes and trying to cook food that doesn't kill my wheat-allergic sister
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16 Responses to Grain-free Spicy Mexican Brownies

  1. I am really intrigued… is it really spicy? Or is just giving a little kick?

    • You don’t taste the spice in the brownie — just the warmth of the cinnamon. Once you stop chewing, however, you can feel the heat on your breath. Its a crazy sensation! I really recommend it! Everybody who has tried them so far has loved them!

  2. Veggie Chica says:

    mmm. This look heavenly. I love Aaron Sanchez. He comes up with amazing recipes. Fyi-if you are looking for an atole recipe I posted one not long ago for a coffee and dark chocolate atole. Atole is similar to hot chocolate but thicker.

  3. caroflorence says:

    your photos are stunning! and this recipe looks great. i’ve never used xanthan gum before…is it hard to find?

    • Thank you!! I try to make my recipes appear as pretty as they taste haha. I always buy xanthan gum at whole foods; if you don’t live near one, it should be sitting next to all the gluten-free flours wherever you buy them. It is a really important ingredient for gluten-free cooking as it prevents foods from feeling crumbly or dry

  4. I LOVE your photos!
    Make a book!

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