A cold winter's day was excuse enough to whip up a pan of brownies. I turned to the Ultimate Brownie Book for inspiration...
Mexican Chocolate Brownies, si! A perfect excuse to use some of the chocolate Mr. Homewrecker and I brought back from our honeymoon.
We spent part of our vacation in Oaxaca, a colonial city in the foothills of the Sierra Madre known as the culinary capitol of Mexico for its chilis and chocolate. We gorged ourselves on mole negro, mugs of hot chocolate, fresh string cheese and smoky mezcal. The only local specialty we didn't have the nerve to try were the popular snack chapulines -- spicy toasted grasshoppers.
We spent days wandering the stalls of the city's expansive mercados, browsing the sacks of nuts, chilis, chickens, live turkeys in sacks, cactus paddles, bootleg DVS, fresh bread and tons of CHOCOLATE.
Somehow customs let us back into the US with suitcases full of chocolate bars, dried chilis, powdered lime (for the ceramic cookware we bought) and Mexican oregano.
For the brownies, in a double boiler I melted down the Mexican chocolate bars, which have cinnamon, sugar and almonds blended in with the cacao nibs. I also added a tsp of chili powder to the recipe to give the brownies a little kick.
The resulting brownies were muy bueno. I just may have to return to Oaxaca to stock up on more chocolate soon.