This recipe does not actually contain mole sauce but does have ingredients that are typical of mole, namely chocolate, chiles, sesame seeds, and nuts. Don’t worry: These chewy, almost caramel-like brownies are not hot, just cinnamony and interesting.

1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
4 ounces good quality unsweetened chocolate
4 ounces butter
2 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons dried ground ancho chile (not chili powder)
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped walnuts

To toast sesame seeds, put on foil in toaster oven or broiler on high heat until golden brown, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8- by 12-inch baking pan and set aside. Melt the chocolate and the butter together in the top of a double boiler. Remove from heat and set aside to let cool a bit.

With an electric mixer, beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and ground chile. Stir the chocolate-butter mixture into the egg mixture; then stir in the flour, sesame seeds, and walnuts. The dough will be sticky and thick and seem dry.

Spoon the mixture into the buttered pan and spread evenly. Bake until the center is just set, about 25 minutes, checking to be sure edges are not turning brown. Do not bake too long or the brownies will lose their chewy texture and the edges will be overcooked. Let cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

For variety, you may substitute chopped almonds or pecans for walnuts. Or you may add 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips. Or instead of ancho chile, try dried ground pasilla or guajillo chile. Just remember to remove the seeds and veins if you are starting with a whole chile, and do not use it if the chile is very spicy. Makes twenty-four 2- by 2-inch brownies.

This recipe riginally appeared in Meatless Mexican Home Cooking by Nancy Zaslavsky. Buy it from Amazon