Preheat oven to 350; prepare 9x9-inch or 9x13-inch baking pan with butter or butter flavored non-stick cooking spray.
Cream butter with mixer; margarine or spreads are not recommended.
Add sugar and red pepper to the butter; cream with mixer until fluffy.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in vanilla, almond extract, and eggs until just combined; do not overbeat; do not use mixer; overbeating results in brownies that rise too much during baking, and then fall as they cool.
If spicier brownies are desired, add jalapenos.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt; adding ingredients separately to butter mixture can result in overbeating.
Gently stir the dry ingredients into butter mixture; if desired add chocolate chips to the butter mixture with the dry ingredients; stir until combined.
Spread mixture into prepared pan; if desired, evenly spread walnut pieces over the top of the batter.
For a 9x9-inch pan, bake on center rack for 35 to 40 minutes; for a 9x13-inch pan, bake on center rack for 30 to 35 minutes.