Whole Wheat Brownies

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My pants are too tight. Are yours?

You’ll excuse me while I go slip into my comfy pants, won’t you? You’re so kind.

Ahhh, much better.

Now that I have a little breathing room, back to business.

There’s nothing special about these brownies. Butter, sugar, cocoa powder, whole wheat flour…

WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR?! Why yes, I guess there is something special about these after all. You can delude yourself into thinking that eating the entire pan of brownies won’t wreak havoc on your waistline by repeating whole wheat like a mantra.

I know what you’re thinking: with the substitution of whole wheat flour, these brownies are probably hard or not as tasty as the bad-for-you brownies. Poppy cock!! These brownies are are rich and chocolatey, fudgy and delicious!! Nothing but a pure delight. And you get some extra whole grain goodness in there too.

Whole wheat, whole wheat, whole wheat… oh dear, excuse me….

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Whole Wheat Brownies
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional but recommended
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour (I used 100% whole wheat flour)
2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil leaving an overhang on opposing sides for easy removal after baking. Spray the aluminum foil with cooking spray and set aside.

Add the butter to a saucepan set over low heat and melt it. Remove the pan from the heat, add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Return the pan to the heat (still on low) until the butter/sugar mixture is hot (about 110 F to 120 F) but not bubbling. If the mixture separates, stir briefly to recombine.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl then add the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring to incorporate after each addition. Finally, add the flour and chocolate chips and mix to combine.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center reveals wet crumbs, but not raw batter, and the edges are set. Move the pan to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once cool, cover and let sit overnight before cutting. This rest allows the bran to absorb moisture and soften, leading to both better flavor and texture.

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Deep Dark Brownies

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Do you need an excuse to make brownies?

No, of course not. What kind of person needs an excuse to make delicious, deep, dark fudgy brownies?

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The best brownies are the ones that are made for no absolute reason.

For the record, brownies made to cure a killer chocolate craving are also the best.

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But, I think the brownies that your sweetheart makes you to show some tender love and affection are quite possibly unmatchable. Unless of course you’re my hubby in which case you won’t eat my brownies. Or cakes. Or pies… but I digress. ;)

Make these for someone you love: your honey, your sister, your mom, your next door neighbor, your best friend. It’s never a bad idea to spread a little love. You won’t be sorry.

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Deep Dark Brownies
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Yields 16 brownies (depending on how large you cut them)

2/3 cup (3 ounces) Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (2 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 cup (4 ounces) toasted pecans or walnuts, diced (optional)
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips (optional)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) vegetable oil
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) water or brewed coffee

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Lightly grease an 8 x 8″ or 9 x 9″ square pan and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugars, salt, flour, espresso powder, nuts, and chips. Add the eggs, oil, and water or coffee, mixing just until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.

Bake the brownies in a preheated 350°F oven for about 35 minutes (for the 9″ pan), or 45 minutes (for the 8″ pan). To see if the brownies are done, remove the pan from the oven, and stick the tip of a sharp knife into the center of the brownies. Wriggle it around just enough to see what’s going on. Is the batter under the crust still shiny, wet, and smooth? Continue to bake the brownies, checking frequently. Is it ultra-moist, but not shiny, and “crumby” looking? Take them out, they’re done.

Place the pan of brownies on a cooling rack, and allow them to cool for 1 hour before slicing.

To fancy it up: melt 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and spread over brownies, allow to set. Drizzle a plate with caramel sauce or a bit of warm raspberry jam.

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Day 19: Chocolate Mint Brownies + 3 Extra Variations

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Christmas is almost here.

There are Christmas songs playing non-stop wherever you go. Seriously, it follows you!

There are stockings hung by the chimney with care and I’m pretty sure visions of sugar plums are dancing in your head.

Oh, not to mention there is toxic sludge colored mint on top of brownies.

Whaa?

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Day 19 of my extravaganza and I am sharing brownies. Yummy, fudgy brownies. Yummy, fudgy brownies with a layer of toxic sludge colored mint on top of them. Yum.

But seriously, these are great!! The brownies themselves are a great plain canvas for any number of mix ins and toppings. Just be sure not to have such a heavy hand with the gel food coloring… that stuff is POTENT! Easy does it. Unless toxic sludge green is your favorite color. In which case, color away!!

Chocolate Mint Brownies
adapted from The Joy of Baking via My Baking Addiction

Brownie Layer:
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces (114 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (70 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mint Layer:
2 tablespoons(28 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (115 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract or 1-2 tablespoons crème de menthe
green food coloring (optional)

Chocolate Glaze:
3 ounces (90 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Have ready a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) square baking pan that has been lined with aluminum foil across the bottom and up two opposite sides of the pan. Set aside.

Brownies: In a stainless steel (heatproof) bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (with a wooden spoon) after each addition. Stir in the flour and salt and beat, with a wooden spoon, until the batter is smooth and glossy and comes away from the sides of the pan (about one minute). Pour the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the edges of the brownies are just beginning to brown. A toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies will come out almost clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to completely cool.

Mint Layer: In the bowl of your electric mixer or with a hand mixer, beat all the ingredients until smooth. Add a few drops of green food coloring if you want the frosting green. If the frosting is too thick, add a little extra cream. (The frosting should be just thin enough to spread.) Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled brownie layer. Place in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes or until firm.

Chocolate Glaze: In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Spread over the mint filling and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate glaze starts to dull.

To Serve: Remove the brownies from the pan by lifting with the ends of the foil and transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut into 30 squares. It is a good idea to wipe your knife between cuts with a damp cloth to get clean cuts. These brownies can be stored in the refrigerator for several days or else frozen.

Makes about 30 1-inch (2.5 cm) squares.

Optional Garnishes:
chopped peppermint bark (sprinkle over warm brownies and let come to room temp)

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chopped candy cane oreos (sprinkle over warm brownies)

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a few dollops of caramel sauce (lightly swirl into batter before baking)

Shipping Safe: YES. Brownies can ship great if packed snugly so they do not move around in whatever tin/box you place them in.
Make Ahead and Freeze: YES. Bake the brownies, cool to room temp, wrap tightly and freeze. Take them out one day before they are needed and let them thaw in the fridge and continue with the mint filling and topping.

Day 12: Ginger Chocolate Brownies

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It’s no new-found discovery that ginger and chocolate go well together. I mean with all the chocolate gingerbreads and chocolate ginger cookies out there… there’s no way that it could be wrong.

But something about these brownies had me a bit irked. I can’t describe it but a brownie… flavored with ginger? I just wasn’t sure. But I wanted to take a chance, take that culinary leap. Mostly, I just wanted to be able to tell myself ‘pssssh, and you were worried?’

Sometimes I worry too much. There’s nothing to worry about with these. They are delish! Pinky promise.

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It’s day 12 of my baking extravaganza, and I’m still going strong. About halfway through, but not to worry… I have plenty left to share!!

These fall into the ‘fudgy’ end of the brownie spectrum, but not overly so. I’d say it’s pretty close to perfect. I was expecting the signature paper-thin crackly crust but I think I underbaked just a bit, so that error lies with me. Otherwise, the flavor really is phenom. But when dealing with Martha, you tend to already expect that.

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Chocolate-Ginger Brownies
adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies via Delicious Delicious Delicious

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
3 oz (75g) dark chocolate, broken into squares
1 cup (200g) caster sugar
2/3 cup (95 g) plain flour
1/4 cup (30g) cocoa
2 eggs
1 tsp fresh root ginger, grated
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Instructions:
Pre-heat the oven to 350°C and grease and line a 8×8 square baking tin.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a medium sized saucepan over a low heat (you can also do this in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave for 15-30 second bursts). Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Add all the other ingredients and stir until smooth. (I put the flour, cocoa powder and spices in a separate bowl and whisked until thoroughly combined. I added the sugar and whisked together. Then the eggs, one at a time, and whisked until blended. Then the ginger and vanilla. Last, I added the flour mixture and stirred until just combined.)

Pour the batter into the lined pan and bake until set. Mine were done at 25 mins so start checking around then.

Cool in the pan, and then cut into 16 squares. Or however many you like.

Top with a divine caramel sauce to really take them over the top!!

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Shipping Safe: YES. Wrap tightly and place in a tin or a small box.
Make Ahead and Freeze: YES. Brownies are a great bake and freeze treat.

Day 2: Nutella Brownies

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I know, I know. I’ve been promising a recipe for these for months now without actually doing so. I’m sorry. But I have a great excuse:

Every time I made these… they never EVER lasted long enough for me to photograph. Ever.

Not only is that the most viable excuse everrr but it also doubles to reassure you that these babies are SO delicious.

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It’s Day 2 of my Christmas Extravaganza and I couldn’t think of a better recipe to share than my favorite perfect brownies. They are dense and fudgy but not gloppy, they are soft but not cakey, the chocolate is amazingly present, you can jazz them up with nuts or peanut butter, caramel or even crushed candy canes!

And they are SO good that even your friends with nut allergies will eat them, I know this from experience ;)

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Nutella Brownies
Yields 16 brownies, depending on how big you cut them

Ingredients:
½ cups All-purpose Flour
½ cups Cocoa Powder
¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
1 pinch Salt
1 cup Sugar
1 stick Butter, Melted
2 whole Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
½ cups Nutella

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper. (Tip: I have also had success baking these in a 9×9.)

In a small bowl measure the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine. (Tip: Use a mesh strainer to sift the cocoa powder to get rid of lumps.)

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and melted butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time until each is thoroughly combined. Then stir in the vanilla. Next, add the dry ingredients and mix gently until just incorporated.

Put the Nutella in a small bowl and microwave until runny (about 30 seconds). Using a rubber spatula, fold into the brownie mix.*

Pour batter into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until top forms a crust. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes if you can handle it ;)

*For peanut butter nutella brownies: reduce Nutella to a heaping 1/4 cup and add a scant 1/4 of creamy peanut butter and melt together, proceed as directed.

Shipping Safe: I’ll go with YES. I would suggest placing these at the bottom of a tin in a single row to prevent sticking and breaking. OR if you’re tedious enough, tightly wrap each individual piece in cellophane and then package snugly.
Make ahead and Freeze: YES. Bake and let cool completely, wrap tightly and freeze. (Tip: I cut my brownies before freezing to cut down on prep time. I put them in the fridge to thaw the night before I need them, pull em out and ta-da! All ready!)

Goodbye Brownies

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No, its not what you think. I’m not saying goodbye to brownies…..

That would be cruel and unusual punishment. Plus I’d be lying. Most likely shoving a brownie in my face as I’m telling you that I’m swearing off. I don’t want to lie to you. Please don’t make me lie to you.

No, these are the brownies that I made for my almost-brother-in-law before he left for school in another state (we miss you!) They were a last hurrah, a last remember me treat, a sweet indulgence, a last homemade baked goodie for him (until the next time I see him), they were love ya brosef and I’ll miss you treats… they were goodbye brownies.

Goodbye sounds so final. Let’s call them ‘See you soon brownies’ instead, ok?

Cus we will, we’ll see you soon. :)

These are my second favorite brownies to make. The texture is perfect (to me at least) it is dense and fudgey and chocolatey. They are a great base for add-ins like butterscotch chips, oreos, nuts, caramel nibs or anything you can imagine in that brownie lovin’ head of yours.

They are forgiving, so feel free to nip and tuck where you deem necessary. Too ‘cakey’ for you? Reduce the flour a bit. Not fudgey enough? Up the butter. More chocolate? Melt some semi-sweet chocolate and stir it in right before baking. Do what you will, but promise me that you’ll make these for someone you love.

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Ingredients:

1 cup Butter
2 cups White Sugar
4 whole Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 cup Flour
⅔ cups Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon Espresso Powder (optional)
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Salt

Preparation Instructions:

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Leave an inch hang-over on each side for easy removal once the brownies are done. (You can also spray the parchment paper/foil with a light mist of cooking spray to help ensure easy release.)
• Melt butter in a medium bowl and set aside to cool off a bit.
• Measure flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder (if using it), baking powder and salt into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Alternatively, you can sift these ingredients together to make sure that there are no clumps of cocoa powder roaming around your batter.
• Stir the sugar into the melted butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time until each is combined. Then stir in the vanilla. Then add the dry ingredients and mix until JUST combined.
• Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester (aka toothpick) inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes, then cut the size to your liking. And enjoy!

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Cookies and Cream Brownies

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These brownies are really just an excuse to have your cake… erm, cookie… erm, brownie and eat it too. But that’s totally acceptable with these brownies.

Not that you need an excuse or anything… just sayin. In case you’re having one of those wishy-washy days.

Do people still say ‘wishy-washy?’ I hope so! If not, I’m bringing it back!!

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This is nothing short of chocolate nirvana: a chocolatey, moist, fudgy, dense brownie (exactly how I love them) studded with bits of oreos sprinkled with, you guessed it… more oreos.

For the love of all things delicious, try these! My little brownie monster (aka: my brother) approves :D

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Ingredients:

1 cup Butter
2 cups White Sugar
4 whole Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 cup Flour
⅔ cups Cocoa Powder
½ teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Salt

1 cup chopped Oreos (or cookies of your choice) for mix-ins
1/2 cup chopped oreos (for the topping) optional

Preparation Instructions:

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Leave an inch hang-over on each side for easy removal once the brownies are done. (You can also spray the parchment paper/foil with a light mist of cooking spray to help ensure easy release.)
• Melt butter in a medium bowl and set aside to cool off a bit.
• Measure flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a small bowl and whisk to combine.
• Stir the sugar into the melted butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time until each is combined. Then stir in the vanilla. Then add the dry ingredients and mix until JUST combined. FOLD in one cup of chopped oreos (or suit the amount to your tastes) with a rubber spatula.
• Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester (aka toothpick) inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven, scatter remaining 1/2 cup of chopped oreos on top and lightly press them down (if using them). Let cool to room temperature, then cut the size to your liking. These will be messy to eat (as the cookies are not adhered to the brownie.) To fix this problem, add a thin layer of your favorite (not too sweet) frosting to your COOLED brownies and THEN sprinkle the cookies on.

Enjoy!

SMS – Chocolate Walnut Brownies

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I feel like my life has been flooded with brownies. BROWNIES EVERYWHERE!!

Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating just a tad. By ‘life’ I mean ‘last week’ and by ‘everywhere’ what I really mean is ‘in my kitchen.’ I’ve baked *counts on fingers* 4 batches of brownies plus one batch of blondies. Whew that’s a lot!! For me at least.

But they were tasty and well received. So in all honesty, I’m not complaining!

These will most likely become one of my go-to brownie recipes. I have found my ALL TIME FAVORITE RECIPE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD (I’ll have the recipe up soon, pwomise!) but it involves Nutella, so when I run out of it I can always fall back on these.

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This is a simple, straight forward recipe. No frills, no gimmicks. Just good, fudgy, nutty brownies. You can add chocolate chunks, chopped up peanut butter cups, or go sans-nuts. This is a great canvas to tweak and alter them to your tastes.

Thank you to Tiffany of A Spoonful & a Heap for choosing this simple recipe for a very hectic week! Head on over to her blog for the recipe.

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Up next week: Toasted Almond Lemon Bars. Yum yum, these will be my first homemade attempt at lemon bars. I have high hopes for these!

TWD – Brrrr-ownies

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I should probably title these ‘The Bane of My Existence’ brownies.

Mainly because I can’t stop eating them.

I would eat them in a box. And I would eat them with a fox. And I will eat them in a house. And I will eat them with a mouse. And I will eat them here and there…

Well, clearly you see where this is going. And I ASSURE you that I am not the only one who feels this way.

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I usually have a LOT of trouble finding a brownie that is all around perfect and suitable to my tastes. Sure, my brownies have more than pleased many other taste testers… but let’s stick to what’s REALLY important here. ;)

I made these a while back with my sissy in a 9×9 pan with peppermint extract because we didn’t have the candies and they were thin and fudgy delights. See?

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I made them this second time around because, well… why not? And I had the candy this time, baked in an 8×8 pan. And…

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These are phenomenal. They are the perfect balance of dense, fudgy, crackly-topped minty studded goodness you will ever find in one brownie.

Or five. But who’s counting?

Thanks to Karen of Welcome to our Crazy Blessed Life for choosing these delights and giving me a go-to brownie recipe! Head on over to her blog for the recipe!!

Up next week: Lot’s of Ways of Banana Cake. I am totally adding mini chocolate chips to this. Or giant chocolate chunks. Or both. I’m a maniac, I know!

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TWD – White Chocolate Brownies

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If the name alone doesn’t intrigue you, then you are dead to me. Ok, maybe that’s a bit drastic. But a WHITE chocolate brownie? COME ON!!

I am a bit guilty of tweaking this recipe almost to the point of being unrecognizable. I read that the meringue just slides off so I opted out of it. I upped the orange zest (because who zests half of a huge orange, really?) I didn’t have want to pay $2.50 for a tiny carton of not so fresh looking raspberries so I used raspberry marmalade instead.
After the batter was in the pan, I heated up a bit of jam with a splash of water and stirred until combined. Then I spooned lines over the batter. Which didn’t matter. One. Bit. Because it sunk to the bottom.

But an easy flip of the brownie and you have beautiful, almost marble-like raspberry swirls atop the brownie.

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I also baked a full recipe in an 8×8 pan. By accident. I had settled on baking half the recipe (foiled and buttered the 8×8 before anything else) then remembered a friend whom I thought would love these, so I settled on making the full recipe and shipping off half with her. But, once I pulled it out of the oven I noticed my absent-minded mistake. Doh!! So I ended up with thicker brownies. No complaints here!! This also explains why it took 15 extra minutes to bake!

As far as taste goes, I am a bit disappointed about the flavor because I expected the star of the show to be the white chocolate. To my taste buds, it’s the orange zest. Don’t get me wrong, these babies are dangerous!! They are a moist, delicious, dense, thick cake-like brownie.

As I approached the kitchen area at work all I heard were “Mmmm’s” so I think its pretty safe to say that they were a hit.

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Thank you to Marthe of Culinary Delights for choosing this recipe! You can find the recipe here on her blog. You’ll want it ;)

And check out all the other TWD bakers who baked along!

Up next week: Tender Shortcakes. Sooo ready for this one!!