Happy Cinco de Mayo! In Puebla, Mexico, Cinco de Mayo (called El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla) commemorates Mexico’s 1862 victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla. To celebrate, my colleague, Marlin, and I will be going to Pittsburgh’s Las Velas for lunch today. A.J. and I also celebrated on Saturday at a Cinco de Mayo fiesta at his cousin’s house.
First, I have to say that I learned a lot from watching Anastasia and Rob host a party. They are so good at parties. One major lesson: bring out the food in rounds. This prevents the awkward announcement, “OK, the food is ready!”
I brought these Mexican brownies to the party. They look like normal brownies, but they’re spiced with some chili powder, cayenne and cinnamon, which gives them just a little heat and complexity.
Here are our ingredients: cocoa powder, sugar, salt, flour, the aforementioned spices, butter, eggs and vanilla.
I mixed the flour and the spices and salt together in a bowl.
Then I combined the butter, cocoa and sugar in a saucepan over high heat, until the butter melted and everything combined.
After the mixture was smooth, I turned off the heat and added the eggs and vanilla.
I poured the cocoa mixture into the flour mixture and combined again.
I scraped that into a heavily greased baking dish and baked it for about 25 minutes.
As soon as I brought the brownies out of the oven, I let them cool and then chilled them for about a half an hour in the fridge. Don’t put your Pyrex or glassware directly from the oven to the fridge — this can stress out the glass and it can explode, but you don want to get the brownies down in temperature in the pan. This makes for easier cutting later.
After they had cooled, I just ran a knife around the edges of the dish and turned out the pan on a cutting board, so I could cut it into squares.