Grand Marnier Almond Brownies

About this dish

  • Serves: 6 or so
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Method: oven

Janice Luteran, now Janice Hess, was a classmate of mine in college at the University of Scranton. Yes, in Scranton, PA. She was an electrical engineering major, and a townie (At the UofS, commuters are called townies; town residents were just ‘locals’).

Janice made these for me, during a visit to her in Endicott after college, when I was in grad school at Cornell. See, I cook lots of things for my friends when they come to visit, so some of them try to impress me with their cooking when I visit them. Which is much more interesting than knowing a good restaurant, and gives us a chance to catch up on stuff during the preparation.

I don’t know where Janice got the recipe from, but it’s MINE NOW!

Ingredients

Make single batches, which make a standard brownie-pan

  •  2 sticks butter (half margarine and half butter works, but, given the rest of the ingredients, is it really going to help?)
  • 6 oz bittersweet or (not unsweetened; I use chocolate chips semisweet chocolate to avoid the whole chopping thing) finely chopped
  • 5 small eggs (yes, 5. Or 4 extra-extra large ones)
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 t Grand Marnier (I use a shot or a shot-and-then-some, any orange liquor works, but this is the whole reason for making the cookies, so just get a bottle. You’ll use it 🙂
  • 1 t grated (don’t measure – just grate one, very orange peel bright orange orange. Grate only the dark orange off – not the bitter white pulp)
  • 1/8 t vanilla (I use 1/2, but it doesn’t matter much)
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds, (not-toasted works too. Or omit. Don’t use toasted any other nut, though. Almonds and oranges together are great; the same isn’t true for all other nuts)
  • 2/3 C flour (yup – that’s it!)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly butter and flour the bottom of a 9×12″ baking pan.

Melt butter and chocolate in heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. (I melt the butter first, then put the chocolate in, which seems to avoid the sticking/burning problem). Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.

Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until blended. Stir in Grand Marnier, orange peel, and vanilla. Blend in almonds (this can actually wait until the batter is complete, and you’re just about to pour it into the pan!).

Add the chocolate mixture (pour in slowly, while running the mixer, to avoid having the warm chocolate cook the eggs, or else make sure the chocolate is only warm, not hot).

Add flour, and fold until just blended (don’t overbeat – it’s bad for brownies!).

Bake until edges crack and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (the standard brownie test). Takes about 25 minutes according to the recipe, but usually takes more like 30-35. Check it starting about 25, and every 5 minutes thereafter.

Cool in pan on a rack about 30 minutes, cut into squares, transfer to rack and cool completely. Stack with waxed-paper separators only after cool.