Sweet, Salty and Spicy Cocoa Brownies

I was in the mood to bake over memorial day weekend and I wanted chocolate. I rummaged through my cabinets and my wheels started spinning on making a different kind of brownie. I  had some beautiful red sea salt that I’ve been dying to incorporate into a dessert, cocoa and some semi-sweet chocolate chips. I added a pinch of cayenne to this brownie recipe to give the chocolate an Aztec influence. These turned out to be rich, dark brownies that satisfy both the salty and sweet fans alike.

Ingredients
1/2 cup earth balance (butter substitute)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 crushed walnuts
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 large eggs
1/8 cup canola oil
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/8 tsp. cayenne
pinch of red sea salt (or substitute Kosher salt)

Grease or spray an 8×8 baking pan with nonstick spray.

Preheat oven to 350°. In a saucepan on medium low heat, melt the earth balance. Add the granulated and brown sugar and combine. Pour into a mixer or mixing bowl. Add the vanilla,  eggs and oil and mix on low until combined. Add the cocoa and mix thoroughly.

Mix the rest of the dry ingredients except for the sea salt in a separate bowl. With the mixer of on medium low speed, slowly start adding the dry ingredients to the wet mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the 8×8 pan and spread out evenly.  Sprinkle sea salt on top of the batter. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

*Note: these are best served the day they are made as the type of flour used tends to dry out more quickly.

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