Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chocolate Tangerine Bars with Clementine Buttercream

Submitted by Danica Nelson
Recipe and photo from Dana Made It blog:

Makes approx. 2 dozen
(Recipe can easily be doubled to fit in a 9×13 pan)

Chocolate Tangerine Bars:
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. shortening
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. tangerine juice
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. semi-sweet choc. chips
1/2 c. white choc. chunks (or chips)
1/2 c. tangerine rinds (about 2-3 tangerines)

Clementine Buttercream Frosting:
1/4 c. butter
3 Tbsp. tangerine juice
1 Tbsp. tangerine zest
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar

First prepare your “treats.” I used a mix of white and semi-sweet chocolate for the bars. But you can use whatever type of chocolate you love (milk, extra-dark, etc). I like Guittard brand semi-sweet chips. And for the white chocolate I like to chop up large bars–sometimes called Almond Bark–so I have big uneven chunks. Make sure you scoop up the tiny shavings from the cutting board too. You want those to infuse the brownie bars.

Next prepare your tangerine rind–do this while the tangerine is whole. Go with the method you prefer. Personally I like a zingy bite in my brownies, so I use a cheese grater to zest the rind into larger bits. You need about 2-3 (*Danica's note: I used 4) tangerines for this recipe, including the frosting. And for the frosting I do smaller-sized zest so that you end up with little specks of rind.

Now let’s make our bars….

In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a mixer or large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugars till combined. Add in the egg, vanilla, and tangerine juice and beat for 2-3 minutes till the mixture is light and fluffy. Add in the cocoa powder mixture and mix till combined. Finally, mix in the chocolate chips, white chunks, and rinds.

Note: If the citrus flavor is too strong for your taste, you might leave the rinds out of the brownie mix and only use them in the frosting.

Spread the mixture evenly into a greased 9×9 baking pan. Bake in a 350 F degree oven for 10-15 minutes (*Danica's note: mine cooked longer than that until my toothpick was clean, probably at least 10 min. longer). That’s a wide range. But each oven is different, so make sure you check them with a
toothpick and once a poke to the center comes out fairly clean, they’re done. When in doubt, I prefer underbaked and chewy bars, rather than overbaked and dry. Let the brownies cool while you prepare the buttercream frosting.

In a small bowl beat together the butter, tangerine juice, and zest. Mix in the powdered (confectioner’s) sugar, adding more sugar or juice as needed till you have a thick consistency. The yellow/orange color is captivating. When the bars are cool, spread a thick layer of frosting over the top.

Then cut them into small squares (a small bite goes a long way–these are rich), and serve. Bars can be stored in the fridge or freezer and taste extra yummy when they’re cold.  Enjoy!

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