Disclosure: I received free products from Imperial Sugar, a sponsor of Choctoberfest 2015, to use in developing recipes for this week. All opinions remain my own.
Continuing to put one foot in front of the other…
Yesterday, I regained some of the lost energy of the days prior (thanks in part to those Chocolate Pecan Pie Energy Bites) and at least managed to stay out of bed long enough to complete a couple projects, and even watched a couple episodes of a TV show I enjoy. It’s progress, albeit small. Today, we celebrate my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary…with something like 40 of my closest relatives. I rose early to pick up cupcakes for the occasion, and even worked on this recipe for Spicy Brownies for the final day of #Choctoberfest. It will be a draining afternoon, but at least I’ll be surrounded by loved ones.
Imperial Sugar is a big-time sponsor of #Choctoberfest, and I owe them some serious props for the 40-pound box of granulated sugar they sent me for recipe development for this special week.
No lie: I found 20 little 2-pound bags lined up neatly in a box that was waiting on my doorstep one day, all for me. We joked that we’d bypass the candy aisle this year and just hand out bags of sugar for Halloween. Go straight to GO, collect $200, all that jazz. But seriously? I’ve been spreading the wealth with my friends, bringing a little sweetness to their lives, thanks to Imperial Sugar. Imperial Sugar has been a trusted name in family kitchens since 1843. Their sugar products and sweeteners are made from non-GMO cane sugar and ensure consistently delicious results. And without them, today’s recipe (and much of #Choctoberfest) would not be possible. You can find Imperial Sugar on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. Make sure you visit the recipes section of their website for some sweet inspiration! You can also find coupons on their website, if you want to try out Imperial Sugar yourself.
Yesterday, I delivered the healthy kind of comfort food, to heal the body. Today, I’m dishing the kind that serves the soul.
When you’re down in the dumps, don’t know what to do, and all you want is a memory in your mouth, that’s when comfort food comes in. Some reach for pints of ice cream to smother their sorrows. I could go for a rich, chocolatey brownie right now. But not just any brownie. Something spicy to wake up the senses, keep them guessing, bring about alertness once more. A jolt to the system, to simultaneously soothe and stimulate. The spice can’t be overpowering–and it isn’t, it’s just enough to keep things interesting–but it’s necessary, because the same old thing isn’t working right now. Sometimes, it’s good to shake things up a bit.
You have one last day to enter yourself in the #Choctoberfest 2015 with Imperial Sugar giveaway! Get your name in the hat for that chocolatey prize worth over $350!!
- 1 cup (16 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut up
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 5 large eggs
- 1¾ cups Imperial Sugar granulated sugar
- 1 cup Imperial Sugar light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso coffee
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x13 baking dish, line with parchment paper, and set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat the butter and chocolate at 50% power for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate is all melted. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs and sugars. Beat at medium speed for 3-5 minutes, or until lifting the paddle from the bowl produces ribbons.
- On low speed, beat in the slightly cooled melted chocolate, along with the cinnamon, sea salt, peppers, and espresso powder, mixing until combined.
- On low speed, add the flour, mixing only until just combined.
- Spread into the prepared baking dish and bake on the middle rack for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly moist.
- Cool for at least a half hour (preferably completely) before slicing and serving.