Chocolate Orange Spiced Brownies

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I rarely use the word “Sexy” to describe food, especially the things I make. Mostly because I’m totally immature and it would make me giggle because I feel ridiculous saying it. But if I’m going to make an exception of course it’s going to be chocolate related. I love chocolate. I really really love chocolate. In the short time my baby blog has been around I have mentioned this a bunch so im guessing you get the picture. So when the holidays come (Valentines day, Easter, etc) I am a complete mess. CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE EVERYWHERE!! Help me please!

Just today i went strolling through the store and my eyes were assaulted with bright-colored packages of sweets on display for poor schmucks like me. Because I am but a mere mortal I will undoubtedly give into the power of the chocolate and pretty packaging. So in the spirit Chocoholics venting I’m posting but of course a chocolatey, fudgy brownie recipe (with a little something extra going on). They are completely decadent and rich with a hint of orange and spice. I am completely in love with them.

I have been toying with the idea for these brownies for ages now. It started with my love of Terry Chocolate Oranges. I’m not sure if anybody remembers those, but it was a huge hunk of chocolate shaped like an orange and in this pretty aluminum wrapping. When you opened them you got to whack them really hard on the table and the pieces would fall away in the shape of orange slices. I wonder if the even still sell them. Hmmmm…… I haven’t seen these those things in forever.

So I’m calling all my fellow chocolate lovers to unite and take a walk on the dark side, or in this case the dark and spicy side. Are you ready to add a little spice to your life ( INSERT SPICE GIRLS PUN HERE) or at least to your chocolate?
These brownies are completely killer! It’s not just a brownie dare i say it is an experience. And don’t panic at the addition of the cayenne pepper it seems odd but it totally helps to make the brownie.

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Spiced Orange Chocolate Brownies

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 eggs, rm temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of 1 large Orange

*Orange Chocolate Ganache (Optional)

*Use the recipe for the orange chocolate ganache filling and just leave out the spices

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil or just spray it really well. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Set aside.
2. Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water (double boiler). Stir until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly. Pour the chocolate mixture into a larger bowl and whisk in espresso powder and sugars until smooth. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then whisk in the vanilla and orange zest.
3. Whisk in the flour mixture until smooth and pour into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
While the Brownies are cooling , make the *Orange Chocolate Ganache. Pour over the top of the brownies and allow the ganache to set ( you can place them in the fridge if you like). Cut them into whatever size or shape your little heart desires and inhale…..uhhh….i mean enjoy them.

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