Chocolate Orange Brownies

Chocolate Orange Brownies

I’m pretty sure brownies are the world’s most perfect dessert! And this chocolate orange version is my new favorite way to enjoy them. I’ve got one simple trick that’s certain to maximize the orange flavor – and my guess is it involves something you normally throw away!

orange zest sugar

The key to this recipe is zesting 2 oranges! Simply add the zest of 2 oranges to 1 1/2 c of sugar. Now, we’ll be adding this orange sugar to brownies but you can use orange sugar as a substitute in any recipe — sugar cookies, sheet cake, granola – even iced tea!

chocolate orange brownies ingredients

7 ingredient brownies

This recipe has only 7 ingredients, so it’s especially important how they’re handled.

  • melted butter
  • cocoa powder
  • orange sugar
  • vanilla bean paste
  • eggs
  • flour
  • salt

3 tips for the best brownie

1 – Start by combining the melted butter and cocoa powder so that the oils in the cocoa powder can release — intensifying the chocolate flavor.

2 – Next, use the darkest oranges you can find – their zest will be the most flavorful.

3 – Last, DO NOT over mix the brownie batter. Leave a little flour visible when finished mixing. Why? The more the batter is mixed, the more gluten strands form — and that can only mean one thing :: tough, dry brownies. Now, I don’t know about you but that’s not my idea of a perfect brownie!

baked brownies

If the baking aroma weren’t enough of a promise of delicious things to come – then certainly the beauty of these baked brownies must make a bold statement!

The combination of orange and chocolate is intense and amazing – and the fine-handled ingredients yield a moist, tender, chewy, chocolatey – PERFECT brownie!!

broken brownie

Chocolate Orange Brownies

  • 1 1/2 c orange sugar*
  • 1 1/2 sticks salted butter, melted
  • 5 T cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1/8 t sea salt
  • 2/3 large chocolate chips, for garnish (I used See’s bittersweet chips)

Preheat oven to 325°. Prepare an 8″x11″ tin by lining with parchment paper and spraying with nonstick spray.

Place orange sugar in a large mixing bowl. In a small mixing bowl, combine melted butter and cocoa powder (I just added the cocoa powder to the dish I used to melt the butter.

Pour the cocoa /butter mixture over the orange sugar, stirring to thoroughly combine. Add eggs, one at a time and mix.

Fold in salt and flour, being sure to leave some traces of flour in the batter (remember – do not over mix).

Spread the brownie batter into the prepared pan, top with chocolate chips and bake for 25 minutes or until the center is set and firm to the touch.

Allow to cool for 1 hour before serving (if you can wait).

Serves 6

*to make the orange sugar, zest 2 oranges and combine with 1 1/2 c granulated sugar.

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For another delicious twist on perfect brownies – check out my Blueberry Brownies!