I have never been a fan of fruit-flavored chocolate. Unless you count chocolate-covered strawberries.

I remember seeing those chocolate oranges in a local drug store when I was younger and begging for one. Remember them? I wanted to try one so badly. I thought they were just the coolest thing ever. And a big ball of chocolate? Sign me up!

It wasn’t until college that I got my share of a chocolate orange. Imagine, to my dismay, that it was hollow. What a disappointment.

And the flavor? Well it just wasn’t for me. I prefer my chocolate plain and rich. I can be quite the chocolate snob. And well… sometimes certain chocolate just isn’t up to snuff

I vowed to never eat chocolate + citrus again.

But then I found some blood orange olive oil. And I couldn’t stop thinking about it mixed into decadent, fudgy brownies, just like someone in the store had suggested.

No fear – if you do not have orange oil, you can do the same with orange extract and orange zest. In fact, orange zest may do the trick by itself.

And the taste? The flavor is mild, but at times slightly explosive. The orange compliments the chocolate with just a sweet hint of citrus and smooth tangerine essence.

In a word… I’m in love.

Chocolate Orange Brownies

makes 12-16 brownies

(you can also make boxed brownies and add in the orange flavoring!)

1/2 cup butter

3 squares baking chocolate

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chocolate chips

1 tablespoon blood orange olive oil OR 1 teaspoon orange extract

1 teaspoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt butter and baking sqaures in a microwave safe bowl. In the mixing bowl, cream melted butter and chocolate mixture. Add in sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in eggs, beating one at a time. Add flour and stir just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour into greased 9 x 13 baking dish.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until just barely done. Cool before frosting.

(Note: You can still order some oil/vinegar and receive a discount using the code howsweet10.)

Ginger Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon milk + more if needed

Cream together butter until fluffy. Add sugar and cocoa powder about 1/2 cup at a time until blended. Mix in ginger, vanilla and milk, adding more or less milk depending on desired consistency. Frost brownies and garnish with candied ginger.

I didn’t mean for these brownies to look Halloweenie, but alas, they do. Tis the season!