Chipotle Pecan Brownies and “The Unofficial Girls Guide to New York”

Chipotle Pecan Brownies and "The Unofficial Girls Guide to New York" // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Chipotle Pecan Brownies and "The Unofficial Girls Guide to New York" // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Chipotle Pecan Brownies and "The Unofficial Girls Guide to New York" // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Chipotle Pecan Brownies and "The Unofficial Girls Guide to New York" // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Welp, it’s officially time to start making holiday treats and going gift shopping. Last night Jonah and I went to the Holiday Ale Fest, and it really got me into the holiday spirit. In thinking of holiday gifts, I want to tell you about this little book that I think would make a great present: The Unofficial GIRLS Guide to New York.

Now, before we jump in here, let me clarify that this book is the GIRLS guide, as in the TV show. Which I love. The past 2 seasons, my friend Erica has come over every week to watch it with us. The characters are fantastic (I think Shoshana is my favorite), the storyline is ever-entertaining, and it certainly captures certain aspects of being a twenty-something in a big city and not having any idea of what you’re doing with your life. Which I may or may not be able to relate to.

So when my aunt and uncle (of Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook fame) told me they were writing a GIRLS book, I was incredibly excited. Jonah and I rattled off interviews they could do, recipes, etc. But they had already thought of everything. This book is half fan-girl material, half guidebook, with some great recipes sprinkled throughout. Since receiving it in the mail, I’ve loved flipping through it, reading the stories of all the locations – not only because they make up the backdrop for this great show, but also because it’s New York, and there are so many interesting tidbits about all of these places. I’m just sad the book wasn’t out in time for our trip to New York!

I wanted to give you a little sneak preview by letting you in on one of the recipes. I decided to whip up “Agave’s Chipotle Pecan Brownies” a couple weeks ago, and dang were they good. More cake-y and less fudgy, the chipotle brings a really nice smoky and spicy flavor to these sweets. These would be a great unique treat to whip up for a holiday party! The recipe comes from Oberlin’s Agave Burrito Bar & Tequileria (Oberlin is where Marnie, Hannah, Jessa, and Elijah went to college, and where Marnie meets Charlie at the Oberlin College Galactic Safe Sex Ball 2007, which you can read more about in the book). I made half the recipe, and still had a 9×13 pan full of these bad boys, so I’ll give you the halved version, plus the full amounts in parentheses.

Chipotle Pecan Brownies


6 oz semisweet chocolate (12 oz)
1 cup plus 2 Tbl unsalted butter, room temperature (2 1/4 cups)
1 3/4 cups sugar (3 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (1 Tbl)
4 eggs (8 eggs)
1 1/4 cups flour (2 1/2 cups)
3/4 tsp cinnamon (1 1/2 tsp)
3/4 tsp chipotle powder (1 1/2 tsp)
4 oz pecans, crumbled to your desired consistency (8 oz)


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking dish/pan (or 2 if you’re using the amounts in parentheses).

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate, stirring frequently. While the chocolate is melting, cream the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the vanilla, mix again, and then add the eggs. Mix to combine – it should be “creamy and lemon colored.”¬†With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in a little bit of the chocolate. Let the mixer stir this small amount in, then slowly pour in the rest of the chocolate and mix until it’s just incorporated.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, and chipotle powder, then stir to combine. Remove the bowl of chocolate from your mixer base, and gently fold the dry ingredients into the chocolate batter until thoroughly combined.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan, and scatter the pecans over the top. Bake for 25 minutes, rotate the pan 180 degrees, and bake for another 10-15 minutes. The brownies should be just set in the center of the pan. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for an hour before cutting. Serve them up and enjoy!