Weekend Baking: Bittersweet Brownies with Orange Creme Frosting

I wasn’t planning to use creamy, sweet and tart Orange Creme to frost brownies. With a small bowl of the creme remaining after a couple of practice runs making Cherries Jubilee to prepare for the dinner to raise funds for Headwaters Science Center in Bemidji, I knew I couldn’t just toss it away.

I debated about how to use the orange creme. I thought about making some almond-flavored shortbread cookies, piping a star of orange creme on top of each one. But, I just finished the last of the Orange Shortbread Bites that I posted recently and was ready for something new. And, something that wouldn’t take a lot of time to prepare.

Finally, the idea of brownies came to mind. Chocolate and orange partner well. I dug out one of my favorite brownie recipes. It’s a recipe that fills a square baking dish with chewy, dense brownies covered with a thin, crunchy crust. They are quite delicious eaten as is, completely unadorned. But, this time, I added a bit of grated orange zest to the batter, adding its bright flavor to the bittersweet brownies.  A slather of orange creme over the top of the decadent chocolate squares puts them right over the top.

Someone I know ate the orange creme with a spoon and a Bittersweet Brownie on the side. I won’t say who.

I will say these brownies are a perfect weekend treat.

Bittersweet Brownies with Orange Creme Frosting

  • Melted butter for greasing
  • 4 oz good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, cubed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • â…” cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Orange Creme Frosting:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 2 oranges

Line a 9-inch square glass baking dish with parchment, using a large enough piece so that there is a couple of inches of overhang on all sides. Brush the bottom and sides of the parchment paper lined dish with melted butter. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small, heavy saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Stir the mixture until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool while preparing remaining ingredients.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Beat eggs and sugar together with electric mixer. Add vanilla and orange zest and blend. Pour in cooled butter and chocolate mixture. Beat together. Stir in sifted dry ingredients until all flour disappears.

Pour batter into prepared parchment-lined baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes. When ready to be removed from oven, sides of brownies will have pulled away from the sides and top will be covered by a thin, shiny crust. Watch closely. Over-baking will produce dry brownies. Remove from oven. Allow brownies to cool completely in baking dish. When brownies are completely cool, grab sides of parchment paper and pull out of dish. Frost brownies with Orange Creme Frosting. Cut brownies into 8 or 16 pieces, depending on how large you want them to be.

To make Orange Creme Frosting, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and orange zest and beat until fluffy.

2 thoughts on “Weekend Baking: Bittersweet Brownies with Orange Creme Frosting

  1. Sue ~

    I so enjoyed the absolutely exquisite pictures of the foods that you have profiled here. Wow, such elegance. Thank you.

    Could you tell me which monthly post the wild rice quiche crust might be in? I loved it so much and would like to use it for breakfasts here at Heartwoods.

    Kathleen Blanc

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