I know that some people can't imagine chocolate and spice together, but oddly enough it's a really complimentary pairing. Quite awhile ago I had an idea and made some wonderful Mayan chili chocolate brownies. I remembered how much I enjoyed them and decided today to try to make a play on those again. I had to play around with the spices to get it just right, but in the end it really came together well. That will teach me not to write down the amounts I use as I make up the recipe ;)
I decided to add a fraction of a spicy flavor to these cream cheese brownies. I was really happy with the result. Trust me, these are not spicy. They just have a background of cinnamon flavor and a tiny background of spice to them. Be brave...try out spice and chocolate together. You just might like the result!
12 Tbsp cocoa
4 Tbsp shortening
1/2 cup butter
Melt the first 3 ingredients over low heat. Stir to mix together.
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Stir in the sugar and the vanilla. Let this mixture sit for about 20 minutes to cool down.
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp ancho chili powder
Mix in the eggs, flour, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and chili powder. Stir until thoroughly mixed together. This will be your chocolate brownie batter.
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
4 tsp flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
In a mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, 4 tsp flour, 1 egg and 1/2 tsp vanilla.This will be your cream cheese layer.
Spray a 8x8x2" baking dish with Pam. Spread 2/3 of the chocolate batter into the the pan. Spoon the cream cheese layer over the top of this. You shouldn't have to worry about spreading it. You should have enough to cover it by spooning it in small amounts over the top of the brownie batter. Dollop the remaining chocolate batter over the top of the cream cheese layer. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
3 Tbsp mini chocolate chips
Cinnamon for dusting the brownies
Sea Salt * For dusting VERY lightly across the top
As soon as you take it out of the oven after the 20 minutes, sprinkle the top with the 3 Tbsp mini chocolate chips, dust it lightly with cinnamon and dust VERY lightly with coarse sea salt. Place back in the oven for 12 more minutes. Cool completely and serve.