Sweet and Fiery: Ancho Pine Nut Brownies Recipe

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.


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  2. 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.
  3. Remove from heat. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until thick and smooth. Slowly pour into the chocolate mixture, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in the flour, ancho chile powder, chocolate morsels and pine nuts.
  5. 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.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Cut into squares to serve. If desired (do it!) serve with ice cream.