I almost never crave chocolate. I also don’t eat a whole lot of it if I can help it. Yeah. I’m one of those people. I don’t dislike chocolate. It’s just… I prefer fruity sweets, or things like chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips. Or snickerdoodles. Or cinnamon rolls. Because chocolate isn’t my go-to, and I don’t crave it like I do other treats of mine, coming up with a brownie recipe to share with friends and family was something never very high on my to-do list. With my bakery, however, I knew that just because my tastes don’t run rich with chocolate, doesn’t mean other people don’t crave it hourly.
So this recipe was something I devised in order to make brownie sandwiches. Yep. Brownie. Sandwich. Rick dark cocoa and cinnamon brownie “bread” layers with a decadent yet not-too-sweet espresso buttercream filling. $4 got you a little chunk of heaven, and I had people buying them by the half dozen. They were definitely a “must-have” item off my menu. I was the only person selling brownie sandwiches (at least in the area) and inspired a local chocolatier to start selling them. His were filled with caramel, but I think mine were infinitely better, and a much tastier flavor combination. ‘Course, I’m a tad biased.
This recipe is just for the brownie. It’s a very simple, easy to accomplish recipe with ingredients most everyone will have sitting around the pantry.
Dark Cocoa Cinnamon Brownies
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa Special Dark cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350º. Grease an 8″x8″ baking pan, glass or metal.
- Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl and mix together with the sugar, vanilla, and eggs until creamy.
- Sift the cocoa, and combine with the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder in a small, separate bowl. Incorporate into the wet mixture, beating until combined. Batter should be relatively smooth with little-to-no lumps. Do not over beat, however. This leads to flat brownies.
- Pour into greased baking pan and spread evenly. Using anything larger than an 8″x8″ will yield very thin brownies. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
As a fun side note, you can add 1 teaspoon of cayenne powder to give these brownies a nice little spicy kick. Cayenne works in that the “burn” of it doesn’t happen until about 10 seconds after you’ve swallowed, so if you’re like me and you like to taste batter to see how the flavors are melding, don’t jump to add more cayenne until you give it the opportunity to rear its head.
Interested in making these vegan? Substitute 8 Tablespoons of Earth Balance brand original or soy free “buttery” spread, and 2 flax eggs (2 Tablespoons flaxseed meal + 6 Tablespoons water, stirred together and set aside for about 5 minutes).