Orange you glad…

Have I told you lately that I love citrus? Yes. Oh, how I love citrus. See also: here, here, here or here. I’ll stop there, but I could go on. There’s just something about the clean, crisp bright flavors of lemon, lime, and orange I can’t resist. Maybe it’s their versatility – from delectable desserts to savory main dishes and sides, citrus just seems to add that punch of flavor that makes me want to jump up and shout YUM! Or maybe it’s their timing – when the snow is falling and the wind is blowing the stores are packed with fragrant citrus fruits from California and Florida. (Hey, this is Iowa – locally grown citrus doesn’t exist, okay? Let’s reconvene on the whole local food issue come sweet corn/tomato season, please and thank you.) When it’s so cold and snowy out, piles of sunshine-hued fruit just makes me smile – they chase away the S.A.D.s, if you will.

Our local grocery chain built a CASTLE of citrus in the store a few weeks back. True. And quite the castle it was too. Towering turrets of tasty treats. 🙂 They may or may not have dubbed it the Disneyland of Citrus. I swear they did…but I can’t actually remember…I may have just called it that myself as I whistled Zip-a-dee-doo-da down the aisles. LOL. At any rate, what I do remember is being socked in the face so hard with the scent of oranges upon entering, that I was practically drooling. The scent must have burned itself into my subconscious because all of a sudden anything and everything orange was sounding really, really good.

So, of course, when I saw this recipe for Orange Brownies, I immediately added them to my Super Bowl party menu as an easy-to-eat, non-chocolate dessert option. See, this is what I do when I entertain. I set out to please everyone. Which is silly. But that’s how I roll.

Now, I know what your thinking: how in the world can a BROWNIE recipe be void of any and all chocolate. It’s the chocolate, by definition, that makes it a brownie! DUH!

Hey, I don’t name the recipes, all right? I just make ’em. 😉

Actually, I think brownie part of the recipe comes from the texture of the bar. They are somewhere in between chewy and cakey, which is common in brownies. They are not ultra-dense and gooey like a super fudgey brownie, but they for sure have a bit of a brownie feel. Plus, there’s no brown sugar so I don’t think they can be called a blondie either.

Let’s just forget about all the technicalities and call these bad boys what they are…DELICIOUS! The chewy brownie-like texture paired with the bright flavor of orange and creamy frosting is such a great combo.  They were a big hit at the party. Everyone raved! Me personally? I found myself downright obsessed with them. As long as there were leftovers in the house, I found myself thinking about having one. It was like my only reason for getting out of bed in the morning was so I could get through my day of pesky healthy eating so I could get my hands on one of these. That’s serious. They are that good. I’m thinking the two entire sticks of butter and 4 whole eggs may have something to do with it. Just a wild guess.

Dear Paula-
Thanks for all you do!
Smooches,
Erin’s Growing Butt.

My only note on this recipe would be that the frosting recipe makes a TON! You could easily halve the frosting recipe and it would still be great. So if you’re a bit of frosting-phobe, you make want to knock it back.

Frosting-phobes? Hm. These people live in the land of leprechauns and unicorns, right? Next to the bridge trolls and across the street from the gnomes? Right. Got it.

ORANGE BROWNIES (Recipe Source: Paula Deen, Foodnetwork.com)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure orange extract (I couldn’t find pure and used imitation. Despite the fact that it was in fact ORANGE, as in orange in color, it worked fine)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 recipe Orange Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13X9 inch baking pan.
  2. Stir together flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter, eggs, orange extract, and orange zest. Beat until well blended with an electric mixer.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown and set. Remove from oven. Spread the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting over completely cooled brownies. Cut into squares.

ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until it is all combined and smooth. Beat in the orange zest and juice. Spread over brownies.

ENJOY! 🙂

One Year Ago: Smokey Red Pepper Dip with Toasted Pita Chips – more delicious party food!

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4 Comments

Filed under bars, fruit

4 responses to “Orange you glad…

  1. bellasbistro

    Looks like I know what I’m making this weekend! Those look wonderful!

  2. Wow those look fun and different.

  3. You crack me up.
    Sincerely, Laura’s laugh-muscles 🙂

  4. Erin's Mom

    These look absolutely fabulous! I’m dreaming of Florida………………

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