Happy “Chew This!” Sunday – and Happy Easter! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help! firstname.lastname@example.org
I love brownies and I love anything citrus, so I figured, why not combine the best of both worlds? These have nothing artificial and are packed with real orange flavor. The secret is to use fresh orange juice and fresh orange zest. People go crazy for these!
Also in this column is my “Ask and Answer” feature in which I talk about my “Bake Sale” experience as well as some of my most popular “Bake Sale Tips”. I love sharing this with you!
The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, April 16th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
Fresh and Flavorful Orange Brownies
I love citrus desserts almost as much as I love chocolate desserts! Key lime pie, lemon meringue pie, lemon bars, pineapple cake, orange scones, ricotta orange cheesecake, lemon cheesecake, lemon curd with berries and lemon-lime tart are some of my go-to desserts when the season is hot and the flavors are citrusy and bright. When I was developing recipes for my cookbook some of the first recipes I developed were those of citrus. Lemon curd muddy buddy mix, lightning fast lemon pie and pineapple icebox pie were some of my favorites that were developed along the way and still some of my most popular recipes. Venturing on to creating and testing more recipes I envisioned some type of citrus brownie. A brownie that was your typical texture, chewy and dense, but had fresh and bright colors and nothing artificial.
Browsing through some of my citrus cookbooks I noticed there really was not anything in the field of brownies and citrus. I did find a couple of recipes from a famous food personality for citrusy type brownies but her recipes called for artificial flavoring and I wanted mine to be fresh, bright and flavorful. I can taste when something is artificial and that is not what I was looking for. A friend sent me a recipe that she had used, and same thing – artificial. I set out with your typical blondie brownie recipe, cut out the brown sugar, added an extra egg for chewiness and cut out the vanilla extract. Instead I added freshly squeezed orange juice and freshly grated orange zest. I also created a glaze to pour over the warm brownies and guess what? The brownies were fabulous! Bright, flavorful, full of citrus and perfect!
Fresh Orange Brownies
It is important to remember to zest the oranges before cutting and squeezing them for their juice. The best way to get maximum juice from the oranges is to gently roll the oranges on your counter a few times before cutting and squeezing. Also remember that when you zest any citrus, only take off the thin layer of color on the fruit, being sure not to get any of the white skin that is underneath – that part is very bitter. Wash all citrus before using.
For the brownies…
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, soft
2 cups white granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ cups white all-purpose flour
For the glaze…
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.
In a large bowl cream together the soft unsalted butter and white granulated sugar. The mixture should be light in color and fluffy in texture.
Next, add in the large eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in the freshly squeezed orange juice, freshly grated orange zest and salt.
Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour, until no white streaks remain in the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Smooth out the top.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.
Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly while you prepare the glaze.
To make the glaze simply whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, freshly squeezed orange juice and freshly grated orange zest in a medium sized bowl. Whisk until smooth and pourable.
Pour the glaze over the warm brownies and spread evenly. Allow to cool at room temperature before cutting, serving and enjoying.
Ask and Answer: A couple of weekends ago I took part in a local bake sale and I received a few questions about some of the specifics and details. I thought I would answer some of those questions here. To start with it is important when baking for a bake sale to remember people who may have a peanut, gluten, wheat, etc. allergy. If something contains peanuts I always label it as such. Meet with your bake sale coordinator to see what other special instructions may need to be followed. I also make sure to take everything in foil disposable containers. That way the person can throw away once finished and not feel like they need to return any nice containers, etc. Plastic wrap is your friend when covering baked goods. Aluminum foil hides what is underneath and does not make for a good presentation. Wrap your baked goods loosely with no air pockets around the edges. Also remember to bake things that can be made in advance without the possibility of anything turning stale or spoiling.
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