I love fruit.
And I love chocolate.
But there was a time when I really didn’t like the two of them together. I had this idea that I was a purist. Keep your fruit over there with the fruity flavors and I’ll eat chocolate unadorned, thank-you-very-much. The great thing about food is that it is always changing. You think you’re set in your ways, that brussels sprouts are terrible, that you could never like soft boiled eggs and then you eat something with a twist of citrus, or broiled just right and you’re entire perspective is flipped on its head.
Fruit and chocolate is now one of my new favorite things to experiment with. Raspberry and white chocolate, orange and dark chocolate, strawberry and milk chocolate. It’s kinda exciting, having your mind changed.
My brownie recipe seemed the perfect base to mix some fruity flavors into. Deeply fudgy and full of chocolate, what could be better? They promise to yield shiny crackly tops, chewy centers, and crispy edges. When one of our neighbors knocked on our door and delivered a bag of fresh oranges from their California tree I knew orange and chocolate would be coming out of the kitchen soon.
These brownies are it. Knowing how beloved the edges of the brownie pan are I decided to make cupcakes. That way every serving would have those crispy crunchy edges. I also knew that the tangy citrus flavor had to be right there, so I decided a fresh orange butter cream would be perfect.
I’m in love with these brownies. I know box brownies are everyone’s go to, they are so easy it makes sense. But I love baking so much I cringe when I make brownies from a box. I know that boxed brownies taste good but so do the homemade ones, guys! If you want to save time then by all means, I encourage you to doctor up your favorite brownie mix. But if you have a few minutes that you can spare I can’t stress enough how awesome making brownies from scratch can be. It’s one of those things that makes your life better.
You’ll feel accomplished and satisfied with a job well done. You’ll remember why butter and sugar are magical ingredients. And you’ll end up with some great brownies.
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup dutch cocoa
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup butter
- 1¼ cup sugar
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoon orange zest
- ½ teaspoon orange extract
- 4 Tablespoons butter, soft
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- juice and zest from one large orange
- 1 tsp vanilla
- red and yellow food dye (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 baking pan or muffin tin.
- In a large bowl crack the eggs and beat with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso, and vanilla.
- In a small sauce pan melt the butter, stir in the sugar and heat until shiny and hot, but not boiling. This makes the tops of your brownies shiny and cracked: the signature of a perfect brownie.
- Add the butter and sugar to the egg and cocoa mixture. Stir in the flour and chocolate chips while the mix is still warm.
- Fill the muffin tin wells ½ full and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs and the tops are crackly and shiny.
- Let cool completely before frosting.
- For frosting, in a mixer beat together the 4 tablespoons of soft butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and orange juice and zest. Beat 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Add one drop each of red and yellow coloring if desired.