Brownies with Toasted Ancho

This recipe is based on a recipe from The Peppers Cookbook by Jean Andrews. I wasn’t sure I’d like the ground ancho, so I made a half batch. The brownies are muy bueno and the ancho tastes perfect and not at all overpowering or like something thrown in for the sake of being unique. Still, I was hesitant at first so I made a half batch. If you want to make the full batch, just double this and bake in a 13×9 inch pan. But here’s how I did it.


Brownies with Toasted Ancho
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Brownies with toasted ancho chili
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9
  • Brownies with Toasted Ancho
  • 4 oz unsalted butter (114 grams)
  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate (85 grams)
  • 1 ancho pepper, toasted and ground (1 tablespoon)**
  • 1/4 very scant teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (270 grams)
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 tablespoons egg, lightly beaten with a whisk
  • 3/4 teaspoon Mexican vanilla
  • 3/4 cups all purpose flour (100 grams)
  • 3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch metal pan with foil and grease bottom of pan only.
  2. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe mixing bowl. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until it is completely melted. If it doesn’t completely melt, microwave for another 30 seconds and stir. Stir the ground ancho powder into the melted chocolate/butter mixture. Whisk in the salt and sugar, followed by the beaten eggs and vanilla. Add the flour and stir until it is almost mixed in, then add pecans and stir until flour disappears. Pour into pan. These brownies are fairly thick, so you’ll have a lot of batter.
  3. Bake brownies on center rack for about 40 minutes. At 35 minutes, test with a toothpick. Your brownies should have *very* moist crumbs. I let mine bake for the full 40 minutes, then cooled in an ice bath.
  4. When completely cool, lift from pan and cut into 9 large brownies (or 6).
** There are many ways to toast anchos, but for this recipe I removed the stem and seeds, broke up the ancho, threw the pieces in a hot dry skillet and moved them around for about 2-3 minutes until they started to smell good. I moved them to my small coffee/spice grinder and ground the ancho to make 1 tablespoon powder. It was so much better than store-bought.

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  1. Ghislaine says

    The brownies look good but we’re eating our way through the delicious Raspberry Buttermilk cake from the latest Gourmet.

  2. says

    My family balks when I throw them curves like pepper or chili powders in their baked goods. They’re just no fun! (Not really true. :-))

    I think I have ground ancho chili pepper from Penzey’s. I have no memory of what I bought it for, and here we have a perfectly good use for it!!

  3. says

    You stayed quite near my office!

    Did you half the amount of ancho in your version of the recipe or did you just mean you halved the recipe itself (because you did make it clear that you halved the recipe)? I’m curious in case I decide to veganize the recipe with the full amount of ancho. Thanks!

  4. says

    Sue, maybe you should make these without telling them about the ancho. I totally understand where they are coming from, but in this case I think they will find the ancho really enhances the chocolate.

    Ghislaine, I guess it was pretty swanky. Fuzz tried to swim, but the pool was very cold. Thanks for the tip on the raspberry buttermilk cake.

    V, sorry my wording wasn’t clear. I altered the text to make it so. The full batch uses 2 T. of ground ancho while my half batch only uses 1 T. I’d love to see your vegan version.
    Also, that’s a nice area to have an office! You can walk over to the mall at lunch and go to Happy Hour at Craft ;). It was actually really quiet on the weekened…at least outside the hotel and mall area.

  5. says

    I’m so freakin’ brownied out right now as my last two posts have brownies, but yours DO look nice and fudgy and I recently put chili in a brownie and actually liked it!

  6. says

    Yum, they look great! What’s Mexican vanilla like? Do you think it’s worth buying for a recipe like this?

    I love priceline too! We got a $350 room in Newport, Rhode Island for under $100 once!

  7. says

    Ooo, Anna, these brownies sound fabulous!! I can’t wait to try them out. Oh, and I’ve never used priceline before, but I can’t wait to check it out. Time for me to go on a trip!

  8. Payal says

    Hey anna, i made these ones yesterday and they turned out way too sweet..i am not sure if they were meant to be that way..but less chocolate and more sugar is definitely not my way..i liked your chewy fudgy brownies way better :)

  9. says

    That’s too bad. I don’t like overly sweet brownies either, but my batch turned out great. Did you make any changes? For instance, if you cut the butter, didn’t add the extra egg or used bittersweet chocolate instead of unsweetened, your results wouldn’t be the same. Or it could be that you just didn’t like them. We all have different tastes. But like I said, my batch wasn’t too sweet.

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