It's time to spice up your life.
And I'm not talking about watching the Spice Girls movie on continuous loop, although I would certainly not judge you if you decided to do this. It's a great movie.
No, I'm talking about Ancho Pine Nut Brownies, which are basically my new favorite thing. I became obsessed with them after discovering them on this blog; I sought out the book they came from, entitled Nuevo Tex-Mex: Festive New Recipes from Just North of the Border; and tried a batch myself (I lightly adapted the recipe, which was developed by baker Rebecca Rather).
Incredibly dense (yes!), the chocolate is off-set by a chile bite and a mellow background of pine nuts, and chocolate morsels added to the mix make for a minefield of mingling flavors that work in a surprisingly harmonious manner. Don't like sweet and spicy? Skip the Ancho if you must, but rest assured I will be judging you for that.
Ancho Pine Nut Brownies
- 1 pound semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 pound unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 7 eggs (the original recipe calls for 8!)
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chile powder (see note)
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
- 1 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or Pinon nuts.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
- In the top pan of a double boiler, combine the chocolate and butter. Place over barely simmering water in the bottom pan and heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter have melted and are combined.
- Remove from heat. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until thick and smooth. Slowly pour into the chocolate mixture, stirring constantly.
- Stir in the flour, ancho chile powder, chocolate morsels and pine nuts.
- Pour evenly into the prepared baking pan. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Cut into squares to serve. If desired (do it!) serve with ice cream.