This recipe, originally posted at the Holy Taco Church, adds a kick to regular ol’ brownies.
If you’ve browsed the candy aisles of late, you noticed that gourmet chocolate bars are all the rage. Take advantage of this when it comes to baked goods. Flavored chocolate adds an extra level of nuance to brownies and cookies.
For these Chili Spice Chocolate Brownies, I chopped up a combo of Green & Black Spiced Chili Chocolate and World Market’s Dark Chocolate Chipotle, but any type of amped-up chocolate will work here.
Note that I can’t handle really hot stuff–hello, burning skin and inability to breathe and feeling like a taun-taun kicked me in the intestines–but these brownies aren’t spicy in THAT way. There’s an occasional zing of chili here and there, but the main flavor is of the cinnamon and the milder chocolate.
Modified from Cinnamon-Spiced Chocolate Brownies at King Arthur Flour.
Bready or Not: Chili Spice Chocolate Brownies
These Chili Spice Brownies are modified from a King Arthur Flour recipe. Use gourmet spiced chocolate bars to create brownies with a special kick!
- 1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/4 cups baking cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa, sifted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 3-ounce spiced chocolate bars, such as chipotle or chili, chopped
- 6 ounces milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- [toggle the chocolates to be more or less spicy based on your tastes, but equal 12 ounces total]
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and grease the surface.
In a medium-sized saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar. Stir to combine. Heat the mixture briefly, just until it's hot throughout; it'll become shiny as you stir it. Set on a cool burner or trivet.
Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, cinnamon, and vanilla.
Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth. Add the flour, again stirring until smooth. Fold in the chopped spicy chocolate and mild chocolate.
Spoon the batter into the pan, spreading it to the edges. It will be extremely thick and lava-like.
Bake the brownies for 34 to 36 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and just barely set in the center.
Remove from the oven. Allow to cool completely in the pan before cutting.
OM NOM NOM!
Last week I shared Peanut Butter Ecstasy Bars. This week I switch out the peanut butter for a version that tastes even better.
The top and bottom layers use cookie butter (Biscoff, Speculoos, whichever!) while the middle layer uses just a touch of Nutella. That combination is luscious. Cookie dough and chocolate. Guh.
I mentioned before that the peanut butter version can be crumbly, especially the edge pieces. Well, this new variation is even messier. Karmic balance for the extra deliciousness, right? The middle pieces were a touch gooey, even as the edge pieces pretty much shattered as they were cut.
That’s not a bad thing here, though. These pieces are delicious. Lap them up. Save them to top ice cream or yogurt. Just please, don’t let them go to waste.
Mind you, they’ll also go to your waist, but that’s a totally separate dilemma.
Bready or Not: Biscoff-Nutella Ecstasy Bars
This variation of my Peanut Butter Ecstasy Bars uses Biscoff or Speculoos for the crust and Nutella in the filling for a fantastic cookie dough-chocolate combination. They might be crumbly and messy (especially the edges), but you’ll want to gobble up every morsel.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup Biscoff or Speculoos Cookie Butter
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons Nutella or similar chocolate spread
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, mix butter, cookie butter, and sugar. Add the vanilla. Slowly mix in the flour. Set aside about 1 cup of the dough, and firmly press the rest into the prepared pan.
Using the same bowl, make the filling. Beat together the eggs, Nutella, and two sugars. Spread this over the unbaked crust. Sprinkle the reserved dough over the top.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the dough it set and golden. Cool completely in pan. Slice into bars. The bars may be crumbly, especially the edge pieces, but every bit is delicious. Keeps for at least 3 days in a sealed container.
OM NOM NOM!
If you need a fast chocolate fix, I have the recipe for you.
This uses cake mix as a base for decadent brownies. If you don’t have caramels, chop up some candy bars. Use full-size Oreos or break up some other kind of cookies. Just let caramel and chocolate, in some form, get cozy.
After you combine everything, this bakes up in about 20 minutes. It smells like heaven, too. A heaven oozing with chocolate.
These bars end up chewy and mild. If you want deeper flavor, use dark chocolate.
This is a Bready or Not Original, too. I modified it from my Golden Oreo Cake Batter Blondies.
Bready or Not: Oreo and Caramel Cake Batter Brownies
Use cake mix as a base to create quick, chewy brownies! Customize with whatever chocolate or candy you have handy, but you can’t go wrong with caramel and Oreos. A Bready or Not Original.
- 1 box devil's food cake mix
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional but awesome
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk or half & half
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 bag Caramel Bits or chopped caramel, about 5 ounces
- 1 8-ounce bag Mini Oreos (or chopped Oreos), some reserved for top
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.
Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl. Add egg and milk. Fold in the chocolate chips, caramel pieces, and Mini Oreos.
Pour into prepared baking pan. Add the reserved Oreos on top. Bake for 20 minutes, or it until passes the toothpick test.
Allow to set for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares.
OM NOM NOM!
I’m not ashamed to use cake mix every now and then. It’s fast. It can make delicious things. In this case, about 70 delicious things.
I doctored this recipe to use nonalcoholic refrigerated Baileys Coffee Creamer instead of the hard stuff, and I also adapted it for mini muffins. Loads of them.
These are bite-sized dollops of chocolate: chocolate cake dappled with chocolate chips, with the added smoothness of Baileys. Plus, it’s fast to whip up, especially if you have more than one mini muffin pan!
Since I bought a large container of coffee creamer (hey, it was a good sale, and I needed St. Patrick’s recipes, so…), you’ll see more recipes with Baileys featured the next two weeks as well!
Modified from Couponing & Cooking.
Bready or Not: Baileys Irish Coffee Creamer Chocolate Mini Muffins
This shortcut recipe uses chocolate cake mix to churn out about 70 brownie-like mini muffins! Sure, you could use the hard Baileys in this, but nonalcoholic Baileys Coffee Creamer makes this kid and workplace friendly–and a LOT cheaper.
- 1 box chocolate cake mix
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup Baileys Irish Coffee Creamer (nonalcoholic)
- 1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips (+ additional for top, if desired)
Prep your mini muffin pans(s) by placing liners and dousing with nonstick spray. Note that the recipe makes about 70 mini muffins. Preheat the oven at 350-degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, eggs, oil, and Baileys Creamer. Once that's mixed to show no clumps, add the chocolate chips. The batter will be a little runny.
A teaspoon scoop makes it easy to dole out batter into the liners--but don't fill to the top! They will grow as they bake. Top with a few extra chocolate chips, if desired.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tops are springy and the innermost muffins pass the toothpick test. Use a fork to pop them out and onto a rack to cool.
Store in a sealed container in the fridge or at room temperature.
OM NOM NOM!
Right before Valentine’s Day, I like to share new brownie or chocolate recipes. Today I’m posting a recipe that was originally at the Holy Taco Church: Dulce de Leche Brownies.
This is a dangerous recipe, and I’m not just talking calories. Sweetened condensed milk becomes lava after mere minutes in the microwave. Make this recipe with care.
I have had this recipe for ages–I clipped it off a box of Challenge Butter. Mind you, I live in Arizona, so I can easily buy ready-made canned Dulce de Leche at any store, but I wanted to go hardcore to make this accessible to cooks around the world.
There is a warning in the original recipe to watch the bowl closely. This is legit. After the 3rd cooking burst in the microwave, I found my bowl had runneth over. Sweetened condensed milk everywhere. HOT, sticky stuff. Stuff that burns. Yeah.
I cleaned up the microwave and the outside of the bowl as best I could, and from then on, I did 50-60 second cooking bursts, and even then I stopped it early a few times.
Was it worth the clean-up and risk of 3rd degree burns? HECK YEAH. Brownies?! Hello!
This makes a 9×13 pan of luscious, fudgy brownies. If you like’em cakey, you’ll have to go elsewhere. Sorry. The dulce de leche isn’t a super-thick layer. You can’t even see it in most of the bars, but you taste it. It’s ninja dulce de leche.
Subtle. Sweet. Potentially harmful to your health while preparing and while eating.
Modified from recipe from Challenge Butter.
Bready or Not: Dulce de Leche Brownies
Dulce de Leche adds a layer of sweetness to these luscious, fudgy brownies! This is modified from a Challenge Butter recipe; my version was originally posted at the Holy Taco Church.
- Dulce de Leche
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 Tablespoon corn syrup
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 11/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional but awesome)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 recipe Dulce de Leche (above) (or use canned Dulce de Leche)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
To make Dulce de Leche
(Note that you can buy canned Dulce de Leche on the Hispanic foods aisle in many grocery stores and skip this step! You can also make it in a crock pot or stove--look up these other methods online. Microwave is faster, but has some danger involved.)
Combine sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup in a LARGE microwave safe bowl. You need the bowl large because the stuff will start to boil like an erupting volcano.
Microwave on 50% power, stopping and stirring every 2 minutes. Start watching VERY CAREFULLY about the 5 minute point. It will start to boil over very quickly. Start doing 1 minute increments, stirring well in between. At the 10 to 12 minute point, it will thicken and look caramel-colored rather than white. It might look curdled but that goes away when you stir. Add in the butter and stir until it's melted. Set aside.
To Make the Brownies
Preheat oven to 325-degrees F. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and butter it or spray it with Pam.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, espresso powder, cocoa, and salt. Add dry ingredients into creamed mixture; mix until well blended.
Spread about 1/2 of mixture in the prepared pan. This will just cover the bottom. Drop spoonfuls of Dulce de Leche evenly over this layer and smooth out. Sprinkle chocolate chips all over. Cover with remaining brownie batter; an offset spatula is great to smooth it to the edges.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.
OM NOM NOM!
You could just make normal brownies, sure, but it’s an indisputable fact that everything is better in pie form.
Back in March, we were in Tucson for the Book Festival on Pi Day. To my amazement, pie was hard to find. We ended up driving a good distance to a Village Inn, where they had already run out of most pies. Our selections ended up being fine, but my husband was tormented by a tabletop ad for a mint brownie pie that was not available.
“Don’t worry,” I told him. “I’ll make one for you.”
This ended up being more of a challenge than I expected. I ended up looking at a number of recipes until I found a good base recipe to modify. I wanted a strong mint flavor and for it to not necessarily LOOK Christmassy. I wanted a pie that could be made year-round.
I already had some York Patties stashed away, courtesy of post-holiday clearance sales, so I had the very candy to mix into my recipe, too.
The end result was peppermint-brownie perfection. I used my homemade pie crust (shown below as well) and was pleased that the brownie contents didn’t make the crust get soggy or hard.
If you love mint brownies, if you love pie, welcome to your new bliss.
Modified from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody.
Bready or Not: Basic Pie Crust
A basic, reliable pie shell recipe. Great for sweet pies! Reduce the sugar, and use for savory pies, too!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup ice water
Make dough hours in advance or the night before. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add in the cold butter cubes, and either use a pastry blender or pulse the ingredients in a food processor until the butter is pea-sized.
Pour in the cold water and pulse/mix together until the dough forms a loose ball. I like to use my hands at this point. The dough may be sticky, but it will firm up well.
Pour dough onto a floured surface. Divide into two balls and fallen them into discs. Wrap each disc in parchment paper, then in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least one hour before placing in pie dish, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Roll out the refrigerated dough into a 12-inch round. Press it into a 9-inch dish, trimming the excess and pinching the edges. Wrap loosely with plastic wrap and freeze at least two hours before using, or keep frozen up to three months.
Bready or Not: Peppermint-Brownie Pie
Peppermint brownies in pie form! This fudgy pie is even better after being chilled for a day. It features a strong, clean mint flavor. Perfect for the holidays… or all year long!
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup (half stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces for quicker melting
- 1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa, sifted
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp espresso powder (optional but awesome)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped York Peppermint Patties
- 1 pie shell (make your own or use a store bought crust)
Set out the pie crust atop a cookie sheet. Chop up the York patties and place half of them in the crust.
In a medium sauce pan, place the milk, butter, and cocoa powder. Warm on low heat. Stir occasionally so the mixture doesn't stick and scorch. Remove from heat when all ingredients are melted and mixed together fully. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven at 350-degrees.
In a large bowl, lightly beat the three eggs. Temper them by adding a couple spoonfuls of the chocolate mixture and mixing. Do this three times. Finally, stir the remaining chocolate into eggs.
Add the flour, espresso powder, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract. Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour brownie batter into the pie shell and then top with remaining chopped York Patties.
Bake for 30-40 minutes on the cookie sheet, until a knife in the center comes out clean. Let set to cool for several hours. Store covered with foil in the fridge.
OM NOM NOM!