These brownies are addictive. They are the ultimate "adult beverage" (which my cousins and I jokingly call desserts because for the longest time, we only had dessert after the kids went to bed---similarly to how some people consume adult beverages.) It's easy to eat a quarter pan at a time, thanks to the salt sprinkled on top. The chile isn't enough to make the brownies spicy (M would eat them which would mean they are not spicy whatsoever). It's just enough to leave a little hint of tickle in the back of your throat after you ate the brownies (a tickle in a good sense as opposed to a choking tickle or a full out spicy throat burn).
Enough said. There are no pictures. The brownies don't last long enough. Plus, it's hard to get a good picture of a brownie. :)
Brownies with Chile and Sea Salt
adapted ever so slightly, maybe, from In the Kitchen with Good Appetite by Melissa Clark
18 T butter (also equal to 1 c plus 2 T butter or 2 sticks plus 2 T butter)
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/8 - 1/4 t cayenne (I think I used closer to 1/4. Don't substitute chile powder)
1/2 c plus 1 T cocoa powder
2 1/2 c sugar
3 large eggs
1 T vanilla
fancy sea salt flakes like Fleur de Sel or Maldon, for sprinkling
Melt together the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. In a separate small to medium bowl, combine the flour, kosher salt, and cayenne. Transfer the chocolate and butter mixture to a larger bowl. Stir in the cocoa powder and sugar (it will be rather thick). Add the eggs and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Fold in the dry ingredients (flour, etc) and continue to fold until batter is lump-free. Scrape the batter into a 9 x 13" baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper (alternately, you could just butter the bottom really well, but it may stick). Smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle all over with the sea salt flakes. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degrees oven or until the edges just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and the top is set and shiny (if you like your brownies undercooked, just bake a minute or two less). Allow to cool until they won't burn your mouth any more and enjoy.
By the way---these, like most good brownies, are fabulous served warm with a scoop of ice cream melting over top. :)