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Mayan Chocolate Brownies

February 15, 2007

Mayan Chocolate Brownies

I have been using the same brownie recipe for years. I mean, since I was about 8. It’s from a kid’s cookbook that is still on my shelf, and is still used, because frankly it’s pretty awesome. The brownie recipe is a stand-by, an old faithful. I even did a science experiment in eighth grade that revolved around this brownie recipe. I’ve never used another one, until today.

I was prompted to abandon my old friend for a few reasons: I only have unsweetened cocoa and unsalted butter in the house, and really didn’t feel like getting into conversions and substitutions and figuring how much extra blah blah blah. And I came across this recipe yesterday that involves a pretty interesting technique I’ve never really used before. And I realized that maybe, after almost twenty years of cooking the same brownies, it might be acceptable to try something new.

I also had an inclination to try to recreate my new favorite ice cream flavor in brownie form. The Haagen-Daaz Mayan Chocolate ice cream is pretty spectacular. I’ve taken to eating a spoonful after dinner pretty much every single night. I can’t stay away. It seemed natural to turn it into my favorite chocolatey dessert: a brownie.

The butter-chocolate base method in the Best Cocoa Brownie recipe was pretty interesting. I was nervous at first, because it seemed to be taking a very, very long time for the butter to melt, but after I left it alone and let it do its business, it turn itself into a thick, delicious-smelling chocolate paste pretty quickly. I’m not entirely sure what the rationale is for doing it this way. I’m not sure if it would turn out any differently if I just poured melted butter into sugar, cocoa, and salt, but this was kind of fun, for the novelty aspect of it all.

I followed the recipe pretty exactly, except for adding in my cinnamon and “fudge swirl” components. And being a little fast and loose with my measurements, because I’m just crazy that way.

Mayan Chocolate Brownies

(based on the Best Cocoa Brownies recipe from BitterSweet, by way of Epicurious)

  • 10 T unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks)
  • 1 1/4 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. plus 2 T. unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. or a bit more of cinnamon
  • 2 cold large eggs
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 c. chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 325F, and line an 8-inch square baking pan with tin foil, leaving an overhang on opposite sides, so you can take the brownies out of the pan more easily when you’re done.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heat-proof bowl, and set it into a skillet of simmering water. You’re basically creating a really weird double boiler, and I’m not sure why it’s done this way, instead of in a double boiler, but I’m not going to ask questions. Stir it occasionally, and let it sit in its hot water bath until the butter melts and everything is mixed together well. The recipe says to keep heating it until it’s almost too hot to touch, then cool it off until its warm.

Stir in the vanilla extract and the cinnamon (ok, I probably should have added the cinnamon with the dry ingredients at the beginning). Then stir in the eggs, one at a time, vigorously. Because it’s just fun to stir stuff vigorously. Once the batter is smooth, shiny, and creamy looking, add in the flour.

 Before adding the flour…

Mix it all up until the flour disappears into the batter, and then continue to mix for 40 more strokes with a wooden spoon. Why? I don’t know, perhaps it’s a lucky brownie number. Add in the chocolate chips, and spread the ridiculously thick brownie batter into the pan. This might be a little tricky. It wants to stick to everything, including the tin foil. Perservere, if you can, with the knowledge that you get to lick the bowl in a few minutes.

Bake the brownies for about 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven, until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean. Let them cool completely in the pan, and when they’re cooled off, pull the brownies out with the tin foil and cut them on a cutting board. Again, not entirely sure why you want to do it this way. I suspect this brownie recipe is some kind of weird baking cult’s secret method for bringing back the baking antichrist or something. Or not.

Mmmm, brownies

15 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2007 6:13 pm

    Those look wonderfully fudgy. I want some. And then I want to break them up and mix them into Mayan Chocolate ice cream and then eat a really, really big bowl of it… Maybe with Baileys on top.

  2. February 19, 2007 3:41 pm

    I would like a bowl of that too please!!!

  3. Eric permalink
    August 9, 2008 8:58 am

    Thanks for the recipe, it tastes great. I love it…

  4. September 20, 2008 10:52 pm

    I just made these, myself… using your recipe… FREAKIN’ DECADENT!!!! WOW!! This is my new brownie recipe… and it competes with some VERY high-end restaurants I’ve been at.


  5. Lili permalink
    January 22, 2009 8:51 pm

    can i make them without the chocolate chips? cuz i dont have any at the moment but i do have hersheys syrup yum, wut do u think?

  6. Julianne permalink
    May 20, 2009 9:20 am

    OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!! Mi ss class is doing this and this is soo helpful. Me and mi friend are gonna make the brownies!!! This was soo helpful, im so glad its not gross!!

  7. sissy permalink
    June 8, 2009 10:38 pm

    um, can u add any tpe of chocalte chips like butterscothc or mint. thank you!

    • June 11, 2009 8:55 am

      Sure, I suspect you can really do what you want, though mint and cinnamon together might be kind of weird. Experiment! You won’t break anything.

  8. Serenity permalink
    September 21, 2009 2:23 am

    Mmm those look amazing. I have all the ingredients except the chocolate chips or I think I would go make a batch 12:20am.

    So – while these look divine, what is the recipe for your old standby? It they were good enough to use all those years then I would love to know what the recipe is.

    Thanks, love the blog and welcome (a bit late I know) to Washington.

  9. Laura permalink
    May 16, 2010 5:15 pm

    These are very good brownies! The exact texture that a brownie should be! Dense, chewy, moist and chocolatey and the chocolate chips definately help with this! I cooked these brownies for an hour at 150C and they turned out great. I was a bit nervous about putting them in tin foil however it did work very well. The mixture rises heaps so dont worry if it goes into the oven seeming rather thin! Be sure to sprinkle icing sugar on the top as this really sets it off. Do pay attention to the ‘unsalted butter’ ingredient. However, if you only have regular butter, then id advise to just leave out the 1/4 tsp of salt.
    Definately give these a try! :)

  10. Amanda permalink
    August 12, 2010 12:23 pm

    This has become a favorite around our home! Our standard brownie recipe has been replaced by this very googy one. Thanks for it!

    • August 12, 2010 12:24 pm

      It’s one of my favorites, as well! I don’t necessarily always follow this exact recipe, but I always add a little cinnamon, and sometimes a little chile powder (chipotle is the best!).


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