Citrus-y. Chocolate-y. These hit all my favorite notes for a decadent dessert. And they are quick and easy to make. I was invited to a holiday gathering and couldn't decide what to bring to add to the potluck table. I initially was going to go savory with some miniature arancini or hearty with meatballs. But I had blood orange co-milled olive oil staring at me and dehydrated blood orange crisps...and those felt Christmas-y to me. Done: blood orange brownies! Okay, they aren't the most photogenic things I've ever made, but one bite in and you won't care that they aren't pretty. I promise.
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (I used a smoked sea salt)
1/3 cup olive oil (I used a co-milled blood orange olive oil)
5 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate (70-75%), finely chopped
3/4 cup organic granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or paste
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
Optional: dehydrated blood orange slices for garnishing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a square baking pan with parchment paper, or butter the pan.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine olive oil and chopped chocolate. Stir over low heat, with a spatula, until chocolate is almost melted. Remove from heat and continue to gently stir until smooth.
Whisk in granulated sugar until completely moistened. The brownie batter will be slightly grainy and paste-like. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until batter is smooth and shiny. Whisk in vanilla. Gently fold in the dry ingredients until just moistened. Stir in chocolate chunks. Spread into prepared pan, smoothing the top of the batter with a spatula.
Arrange blood orange slices on the top and press into the batter slightly.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until top is shiny and crackly. A toothpick inserted near the center should come out mostly clean. Cool on a wire rack until completely cooled before slicing and serving.
This is an annual event on whose list I am just tickled to be. Seriously. Every year I leave the event feeling more informed, more inspired, and - frankly - a little daunted by these powerhouse women who are so well-read, creative, and brutally honest about the stressors of the previous year. And I always leave with a list of places to try and books to read. It's exhilarating.
This year, one gal published a book while another wove bookmarks on her loom. There were the jar-sisters with homemade simple syrups, persimmon jam, pepper jelly, pickled red onions, tamarind chutney, and my Bajtra liqueur. We all received stunning red lipstick that looks good on everyone; thick, luscious hand butter to keep our hands looking less than our age; an all-purpose spice blend that I can't wait to try; and a chainmail pot scrubber that I immediately put on a necklace - it was too pretty to use on my pots!
Another gal gave us daffodil bulbs that, as soon as I walked in the door, I promptly handed to Jake and said, "These are supposed to go in the ground right now!" He looked outside as the rain poured down and said, "Maybe tomorrow." Fine, but I want to see those yellow beauties popping up in the garden in the Spring!
I am already scheming of what I want to share next year. If you have any thoughts of homemade edibles, give a shout.