These Mexican Brownies will put a little cha-cha-cha back into your dessert dance card. Their secret to the perfect balance of flavor and moistness lies in the tangy, sweet rhubarb compote and its flare for drama, all jazzed-up with the kickin’ zest of New Mexico chile powder that couples so well with the solid backing of a rich chocolate dance partner. Don’t hold back, these Mexican Brownies are waiting to whisk you off your feet and melt your cares away. The chemistry is undeniable… you’ll be smitten at first bite! Cha-cha-cha!

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For the rhubarb compote:

  • 1 cup rhubarb, strings removed, cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the brownie batter:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon New Mexico chile powder (not chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon dark rum
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
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Step 1 –In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add the rhubarb, the water, and 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, stirring to combine.

Step 2 –Bring the mixture to a boil.

Step 3 –Once the sugar is dissolved, lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the rhubarb is soft, about 10 minutes.

Step 4 –Transfer the rhubarb mixture from the stovetop to a wire rack and let it cool slightly.

Step 5 –Transfer the slightly cooled rhubarb mixture to a blender and purée until smooth.

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Step 6 –Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 7 –Spray the bottom and sides of an 8x8x2-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Step 8 –Line the bottom of the baking dish with parchment paper and spray the parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray. Allow the parchment paper a couple inches of overhang on the sides to help get the brownies out later.

Step 9 –In a medium bowl, add the flour, the baking powder, the New Mexico chile powder, the cinnamon, and the kosher salt and sift to combine.

Step 10 –In a clean microwavable glass bowl, add the bittersweet chocolate and the unsweetened chocolate.

Step 11 –Place the bowl in a microwave at 50% power and cook, stirring intermittently, until melted and smooth, about 30 seconds-1 minute.

Step 12 –In a large bowl with a stand mixer on medium speed, add the butter and the remaining sugar and cream together until well-blended.

Step 13 –One at a time, add the eggs to the butter mixture and beat to combine.

Step 14 –Add the vanilla and the dark rum to the butter mixture and beat to combine.

Step 15 –Transfer the rhubarb compote to the melted chocolate mixture and stir to combine.

Step 16 –Transfer the rhubarb-chocolate mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined.

Step 17 –Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.

Step 18 –With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl with the batter and add the semisweet chocolate chips and the walnuts. Gently fold to combine, being careful not to over mix.

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Step 19 –Evenly transfer the batter to the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

Step 20 –Bake, uncovered, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.

Step 21 –Transfer from the oven to a wire rack and let cool.

Step 22 –When the brownies are cool, with a sharp knife, cut them into serving-size pieces.

Step 23 –Plate and serve.