I recently had a craving for Mexican chocolate brownies. After looking at a number of recipes, I found one that looked promising on mom.com. Unfortunately, the recipe had several typos and a horrible layout. I have no objection to ads on a blog, but don’t cover the recipe with them!
The recipe was pretty good, but something was missing… a twist that gave them the flavor of my adopted home, Guatemala. I added some cardamom to the chile and cinnamon, and came out with this amazing Maya Spiced Brownie recipe. (Fun fact: Guatemala is the largest producer and exporter of cardamom in the world.)
I use whole wheat pastry flour in this recipe, but you can use all purpose flour or your favorite gluten-free flour blend.
The egg replacement comes from ground flax seed, which is my favorite binder for vegan baking. I use whole flax seeds and grind a couple cups at a time, then store the flax meal in a jar in the refrigerator for easy use at any time. The flax meal is much fresher that way than if you buy it already ground.
You can use commercial cocoa powder, but I prefer grating raw cacao. It gives a deep, rich chocolate flavor you don’t get with processed cocoa powder.
Maya Spiced Brownies
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 Tablespoon flax seed ground
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder or finely grated raw cacao
- 1/4 cup sugar brown or natural is best
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder ground: ancho, coban, or chipotle are great choices
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ground
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom ground
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips divided
- 1/2 cup coconut milk any plant milk will work
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- 1/4 cup grape seed oil or any mild vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare and 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, ground flax seed, salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, sugar, chili powder, cinnamon, and cardamom. Stir until thoroughly combined.
- In a double boiler (or heat-resistant bowl placed over a pan of simmering water), melt 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips. Stir in the plant milk and mix until completely smooth. Add the oil, agave, and vanilla. Mix well until everything is combined.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until you have a thick batter. Do not overmix.
- Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips and the walnuts.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan, filling in the edges and smoothing the top.
- Bake 18-20 minutes or until the edges start to look dry and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the brownies to cool at least 15 minutes before cutting. Try not to eat them all in one sitting.
- Store cooled brownies (if you have any left) in an airtight container.
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