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ancho chile brownies

Ancho Chile Brownies

Brownies that are neither too cakey nor too fudgy and have a little heat at the end from ancho chile. Make sure to use really good quality unsweetened chocolate and don't try to substitute bittersweet. I haven't tried making these with the cocoa powder substitute (which in this case would be 6 tablespoons of cocoa and 2 tablespoons of oil), but I'm sure it would change the texture.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword ancho brownies, brownies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 16
Author Anna
Cost 5


  • 1 stick unsalted butter (114 grams)
  • 2 ounces best quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped*** (56 grams)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour** (70 grams)
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt omit if using salted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with nonstick foil.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate together in the top of a double boiler, stirring often until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • Beat eggs on high speed of an electric mixer. Gradually add sugar and vanilla, beating 3 minutes or until thick and pale.
  • With a heavy duty scraper, fold in the chocolate mixture until blended.
  • Thoroughly whisk the flour, salt, baking powder and ancho powder together in a separate bowl, then stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture. Make sure the batter is not so warm that it will melt the chocolate chips, then stir in chips.
  • Pour into the pan and bake on center rack at at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes. They're done when a meat thermometer inserted in the center registers 210. Let cool in a pan set on a wire rack for about an hour, then transfer to refrigerator and chill for another hour or two or until very cold.
  • Lift foil with brownies out of pan. Cut brownies into 4 Texas size squares. You can then wrap the four squares or cut each square into smaller servings.


The original recipe called for 3/4 cup sifted flour, but I've updated the amount to 1/2 cup (70 grams) unsifted to avoid potential dryness. Too much flour increases the chances the brownies will be dry, so it's better to err on the side of too little flour than too much.
Use unsweetened chocolate -- not 85%, 70% or semisweet. Using anything other than unsweetened chocolate will change the brownie.
Ancho chili powder can usually be found in the spice section or in the Mexican food aisle. Make sure what you're getting is pure ancho powder without any additional salt or seasonings. Alternatively, you can make your own ancho powder by removing the stem and seeds of an ancho pepper (dried poblano), toasting in a skillet, then grinding in an old coffee or spice grinder. If you want a little more heat in the brownie, add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne in place of the same amount of ancho powder.