“It smells like fall in here,” Joey announced this weekend when he came home to the scent of fresh cinnamon brownies in our kitchen.
I forget that cinnamon normally evokes a cold weather feeling from people. I’ll eat it any time of year. Find me some cinnamon ice cream, and I’d be all in.
But I suppose the waning days of summer put me in the mindset to grab my big shaker of cinnamon out of the pantry to try a new recipe.
I wasn’t initially certain what made these Mexican cinnamon brownies rather than just cinnamon brownies, but the recipe’s author explains in his post that cinnamon is widely used in Mexican cooking and these brownies would be a good dessert to show up at a Cinco de Mayo party, and that explanation was good enough for me.
I found this recipe on the website “One How To.” The recipe is by Max D. Gray. You can find the original at https://food.onehowto.com/recipe/how-to-make-mexican-cinnamon-brownies-10574.html. I fixed up some of the directions to make them more clear and added extra cinnamon.
Mexican Cinnamon Brownies
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 340 degrees.
- Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside (an easy trick is to use the empty butter wrappers from the recipe to grease it).
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla.
- Beat in the flour, baking powder and salt until the mixture is smooth and everything is completely incorporated.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and then evenly sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the top (in full disclosure, I just used a spoon and sprinkled both until I felt satisfied I had good coverage, so I likely used a bit more cinnamon than is listed in the ingredients list).
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the brownies cool for about 20 minutes and then slice into bars and store in an airtight container.
As Joey pointed out, these made the whole house smell amazing, so if you’re having an open house and want to use the trick where you bake something right before people come over, tuck this recipe away.
They were great warm, but right out of the oven, I thought the cinnamon didn’t come through as much as I would have liked. I was vindicated the next morning, after they sat in their airtight container over night, when the cinnamon flavor popped perfectly in each bite.
They’re also the perfect texture to carry around and eat—no plates or forks required.
So maybe I’m pushing into fall spices too quickly in the year, but I figure any desserts that are good fodder for a Cinco de Mayo party can’t possibly only belong to autumn.
Now to see if cinnamon ice cream really does exist.
This piece first appeared in print on Sept. 12, 2019.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.