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Dark Chocolate Chipotle Brownies with Cinnamon White Chocolate

Oh, my.  I’ve been experimenting again.  Once you start, there seems to be no turning back!

This didn’t start off as an experimental idea, though.  I found this recipe in a Moosewood cookbook, and it’s almost identical to Mark Bittman’s brownies, which I’ve mentioned before.  The only difference is that Moosewood calls for brown sugar instead of white, but they both claim to be originally from an old recipe somewhere else.

Initially, I was going to add peanut butter chips to half and white chocolate chips to the other half.  Then I thought of cinnamon chips, which is when my mind started going into an over creative mode.  You see, I had an orchestra audition on Monday, and when I have to practice a lot, I start thinking about things I would rather bake instead.  Not feeling very confident with the possible outcome, I was planning to bake these after I got back from the audition as a comforting activity and treat.

cinnamon and white chocolate cinnamon white chocolate

Anyway, I didn’t actually get to bake these until two days later (today), and was kind of pressed for time when I finally did.  There are supposed to be white chocolate chunks in them, but I didn’t let the batter cool enough before adding them, so they melted.  You can still taste the cinnamon, and the white chocolate adds more of an extra vanilla flavor.

espresso powder and adobo sauce

These are definitely not burn-your-mouth spicy.  You feel a slight bit of smoky heat as an aftertaste, which is nice.  However, if you really want to kick things up, puree the chipotles and adobo sauce, but add a teaspoon at a time, testing the spice level after each addition.

the melting pot

Dark Chocolate Chipotle Brownies with Cinnamon White Chocolate
based on Moosewood Fudge Brownies from Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts

I love the recipe for these brownies because they’re the perfect texture. If you’d rather skip making the cinnamon white chocolate chunks, you can either use white chocolate chips and add the cinnamon to the brownie batter or just use cinnamon chips. Just make sure to let your batter cool if you do make the chunks, unlike me.

cinnamon white chocolate chunks: melt 3 ounces white chocolate with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.  Spread on a parchment or plastic wrap covered plate, then place in the freezer.  When solid, chop into chunks.

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
1 tablespoon chipotle adobo sauce (more or less to taste)
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour (I just used all-purpose)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan.   (I used my Baker’s Edge pan, which didn’t need to be greased.  Thanks, Mom!)

In a saucepan, heat butter and chocolate on low, stirring occasionally.  Once they’ve started melting, stir in espresso (if using) and adobo sauce.  Remove the pan from the heat after the butter and chocolate have melted.  Once the mixture is cool, stir in the brown sugar and vanilla until fully incorporated.  Add the eggs and beat well.  Toss about 1 tablespoon of the flour with the white chocolate chunks to keep them from sinking.  Mix the rest of the flour with the wet ingredients until thoroughly combined, then fold in the white chocolate chunks.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes.  They’re ready when the edges begin to pull away from the sides, but the center should still look fudgy.  Cool before cutting.

brownie batter baked brownies

BONUS: I mixed these up in ONE pan!

Well, okay…I did mix the white chocolate chunks and flour together in a small bowl, but I’m sure you could do that in the measuring cup if you’re really trying to save dirtying an extra dish.