Can you believe that it’s going to be Christmas soon? It always surprises me how fast it sneaks up on me. I’ve been thinking about what to bake this holiday season, but it’s so hard to decide! There are family favourites, like sugar cookies decorated with icing or painted with egg yolks, Rolo cookies, Cookie Dough Truffles, and shortbread dipped in chocolate. I also loved the Epicure Eggnog Oreo Cheesecake Bites we made last year. The Epicure Perfect Petites mold is great for baking treats because the portion sizes are small so you won’t overindulge. And because they’re small, they also bake a lot faster so you won’t have to wait so long to sample your baking.
I used the Perfect Petites mold this time to make orange brownies. There’s something about chocolate and orange together that thrills me. Epicure gave me Orange Chocolate Sugar to try out, and I immediately thought it would be delicious on brownies. Then I thought, why not add even more orange flavour right into the brownies? I remembered a muffin recipe I tried years ago — Whole Orange Muffins — which uses a blended-up orange with the peel and all. Those muffins were so good! I wanted to try the same concept with brownies.
It may seem a little odd to blend up a whole orange, but don’t worry, it doesn’t taste bitter or overpowering at all. It adds a nice punch of fresh, vibrant citrus flavour to the rich cocoa in the brownies. The oranges also make the brownies more moist, so you use less butter. I added a bit of apple sauce as well to help reduce the need for much butter. That means you can have more brownies without too many extra calories, especially since they’re petite.
The soft dusting of orange sugar on top are a lovely festive touch to these brownies. It reminds me of a light snowfall, except snow doesn’t taste this delicious!
My family likes brownies, so these did not last long in our home. I think Cole liked them the most. He was very intrigued by the flavour and kept asking me what was in them. I told him there were oranges, but he wanted to know what else. There’s really nothing else odd in these, except maybe applesauce. I think the orange flavour might have been hard for him to recognize when it was combined with chocolate, but in any case, he was utterly enthralled with these brownies. He couldn’t stop eating them!
Now that I’ve got you in the baking mood, how about entering to win a Baker’s Collection from Epicure? This is a gorgeous prize pack that’s just perfect for holiday baking.
This contest is open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) and will close on Dec 10 2015. Enter to win by using the form below. Good Luck!