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Mocha Orange Brownies

It is starting to get a little sunnier here this week and it is making me smile. I am so ready for the warm weather and the sunny afternoons. I can’t wait to dress up my sweet little girls in cute skirts and dresses of bright colors and play outside. We are looking forward to lots of fun in the sun this spring and summer. Can’t wait!

While we wait for those fun summer days, we will pass the time eating some chocolate treats. Chocolate is one of those simple things that always makes me smile! Before I had my girls I liked chocolate, but I wouldn’t say that I craved it or loved it. That all changed when I was pregnant with my older daughter. The number one thing I craved when I was pregnant with her was chocolate chip cookies. They are still probably one of my favorite things on the planet to eat (as you may have noticed they are the thing I chose to be in my logo :) ), but when I was pregnant with her, I wanted them EVERY day! Since then, I have been madly in love with chocolate in every form and the darker the better.

I also have a passion for brownies, so when I came across this recipe I had to make them, like now! This recipe is super quick and easy to make. First of all, it is made in one saucepan, so no need to dirty a bunch of dishes or a mixer. Any time there are fewer dishes it’s a good thing in this mommy’s book. The flavors in these brownies are fantastic and it is a true testament that a little orange zest can go a long way. This recipe is very easily adaptable, like if you don’t like orange, it is easy to leave out, and say you like nuts you could always add them. I think it is a wonderful go to quick and simple brownie recipe for everyday use. Hope it makes your life simple too!

Mocha-Orange Brownies
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2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
1 teaspoon orange zest
powedered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8x2 inch baking pan and set aside.

In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in cocoa powder and espresso powder. Remove from heat. Stir in granulated sugar. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Beat lightly by hand just until combined. Stir in the flour, the chopped chocolate and the orange zest.

Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in a pan on wire reack. If desired, sift powdered sugar over the top of the brownies.

Adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Cookies & Bars 2010 Magazine

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