Verdict: win

I love where I live in Columbus - I have access to the best food and drink this city has to offer within minutes of my home. Last week we stopped by Daily Growler and purchased a growler of Xocoveza Mocha Stout by Chris Banker/Stone/Insurgente. It is a fantastic, mexican hot chocolate-inspired stout that scored >93 points on Beer Advocate...I was won over.

Surprisingly we had a bit leftover that had gone flat, so I used the last few ounces to make beer brownies. I modified Joy the Baker's beer brownies recipe to highlight the chile-laced beer by adding a touch of ancho chile powder. Next time I'd add even more chile powder to amp up the spice, and maybe some cinnamon and/or nutmeg too. I almost ran out of all-purpose flour, so I QS'd with bread flour (which I think added some chewiness to the brownies). I used Scharffen Berger natural cocoa powder (instead of dutch-processed cocoa powder), which results in a lighter, caramel-y brownie color. For the chocolate, I used semi-sweet chocolate chips I had on hand, but it came out to sweet for my taste so next time I would use more of a bittersweet chocolate.

Still, DY thinks they're the best brownies I've ever made. The recipe did make a great cakey-yet-chewy brownie; it's probably a keeper.



Chile Beer Brownies adapted from Joy the Baker
Yield: 9 x 13 inch pan

INGREDIENTS
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (natural = lighter color, dutch-processed = darker color)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder (or 1/2 teaspoon, and/or add some cinnamon/nutmeg)
3 1/2 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup stout or other dark beer, or cold coffee
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and chile powder.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of boiling water. In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter until it just turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Pour the brown butter into the chocolate and stir until combined. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the stout (or coffee).

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugars until thick, about 2 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all of the ingredients are well combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the edges are firm and the center is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan before slicing.

Slice into 12 large or 24 small brownies. To store, cover the pan in plastic wrap and keep on the counter for up to one week

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