These decadent bars have a rich, moist, and dense texture. The luxurious taste of chocolate will meet your taste buds and the sweetness will seduce your senses. Then slowly the slight heat of chiles will spread across your tongue and surprise you with a tingling sensation. The combination of chocolate and chiles gives the well-known mole poblano of Mexico and the mole de plátano of Guatemala their distinctive flavor. And here, fruity ancho chiles are a perfect match for rich, dark chocolate. The meaty pecans lend an unmistakable Southern touch. These are “grown-up” goodies. Make a batch without chiles for the kids.
Makes 20 brownies
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 c sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 1/4 t ancho chile powder
1/2 t salt
1 c chopped and toasted pecans (optional)
For the glaze:
1/4 c confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 T cocoa powder
2 T unsalted butter, melted
1 T coffee-flavored liqueur
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 t chipotle chile powder
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a 9x9x2-inch baking pan.
- Place the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until they have melted and are well combined. Lift the bowl carefully from the pan so no water droplets come into contact with the chocolate mixture; let cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a large bowl.
- Stir in the sugar; add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; stir in the vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ancho chile powder, and salt; gradually add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, beating well until fully combined. Add the pecans.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the center is set and the brownies begin to pull back from the sides of the pan. Cool brownies for 1 hour in the pan.
To make the glaze: In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, butter, liqueur, vanilla, and chile powder; blend until smooth. Place the glaze in a pastry bag (or zip-top bag with a snipped corner), and drizzle back and forth over the brownies. Cut them into 20 bars.