Brownie Variations- Chili Almond

Friday, June 23, 2006

Last weekend we had our friends from Japan over. They will be hosting us on our upcoming trip to Shikoku in August, so this visit was a fun quick reminder in the midst of our planning that Japan is almost here! After closing down the local brew pub, we made our way on a beer meandering path to be welcomed home by a batch of brownies I had made earlier in the day. After being stored in the refrigerator, they can become dense and fudge like, and a wonderful nibble to end our late evening.

Again last night at a friends’ backyard bbq, I had a plate of small walnut brownie squares provide a wonderful sweet closure to the night’s tasting. All these brownie nudges at my taste buds have been fueling on my enchantment with Alice Medrich’s cookbook Bittersweet… it isn’t my fault I swear! The brownies made me do it:

chili almond browniesKnowing that we are likely to have guests from the Bay Area with us tonight, I made a batch of Medrich’s unsweetened brownies with her semi-sweet chocolate variation (decreases the butter and sugar, increases the chocolate). The excuse being that they will likely need the sugar-fat fix after a full day of motorcycle riding. Being that they’re men, we’ll have to see if their beer gene expresses itself upstream of the chocolate eater protein, and thereby suppresses its call to chocolate response. We’ll see and call this our little secret experiment ;)

My grocery store adventuring prompted me to mix up these brownies as a spiced variety using Sahale Snacks Soledad blend of nuts (Almonds, Flax Seeds, Dates, Balsamic Vinegar and Cayenne). I also used a bar of Dagoba’s spicy Xocolatl dark chocolate, infused with rare chilies, cacao nibs, maca, and nutmeg.

The resulting brownies are richly studded with the toasted almonds from the snack mix, and only ever so lightly spiced, with the full taste of the balsamic and chili coming at the end of the taste. They are rich and intense, so I cut them in small one-inch squares. To further give a heads up about the non-traditional flavor additions, I cut the one-inch squares on a diagonal, making them into Brownie Points.

Beer vs Brownie as an initial response in tired men? To be continued…


- with nothing against brownies with beer, I was curious about that initial grab response. Alas, our visitors were over-roaded in their trip and crashed south of us instead.

Interviews aluded to beer having better restorative powers.


posted June 23rd, 2006 at 3:03 pm

Ohmigod, those sound so good. THank you for posting that idea. Next time I’m in Eugene I will definitely pick up the nuts and chocolate you mentioned. Eagerly awaiting the results of the BvB test…

- KarenK
posted June 24th, 2006 at 5:05 am

What’s wrong with beer and brownies?

BTW, these are really good:

posted June 26th, 2006 at 10:32 am

Wow, these look delicious! I’m not a huge fan of the chocolate and chili combination, but I’m wondering if with the crunch of the nuts I wouldn’t notice so much? I’ll definitely have to try these!

posted June 27th, 2006 at 5:26 am

Love how you used some non-traditional spices in your brownies. I don’t care if it’s trendy, I adore good quality chocolate infused with all sorts of crazy flavors like chilis and tea. I bet the balsamic tasted amazing. I enjoy your blog and linked to it on my site. I hope you approve:) Thanks for the Anthony Bourdain story, as well. I’m so glad he was able to go to the Travel Channel.

posted July 19th, 2006 at 3:01 pm

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