Holiday season is cookie season! We are all about cookies this month: baking, decorating, gifting and hosting the classic cookie exchange. Today, we’re kicking off 30 days of holiday cookies, so be sure to check back every day for a new recipe! And for more inspiration and great recipes, visit our Cookie Central page.
These sophisticated bars take advantage of the natural affinity between chocolate, almonds and oranges. These could easily serve as the base of a decadent brownie sundae, topped with vanilla ice cream hot fudge sauce and whipped cream.
Bittersweet Chocolate, Orange & Almond Brownies
6 oz. (185 g.) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (4 oz./125 g.) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) sugar
2 tsp. grated orange zest
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) fresh orange juice
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) chopped whole almonds, lightly toasted
Preheat the oven to 350°F (150°C). Butter an 8-inch (20-cm.) square baking pan. Sprinkle with flour and tap out the excess.
Place the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over (not touching) barely simmering water, and heat, stirring often, until melted. Remove from over the water and let cool slightly.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until blended. Gradually add the sugar in a thin stream and continue to beat until the mixture is pale yellow and thickened, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the melted chocolate mixture, orange zest and orange juice. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Stir in the almonds. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
Bake until firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out lightly coated but not wet, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Cut into bars and serve. Makes 12 brownies.
Find more mouthwatering ways to end a meal in our cookbook Dessert of the Day, by Kim Laidlaw.