Whether you're into milk chocolate candy bars, chocolate-covered nuts or dark chocolate bark, chocolate of all varieties should be celebrated and enjoyed daily. And just so we can call our obsession with cocoa official, Tuesday is National Chocolate Day. You can also just call it the best day ever.
To celebrate, refill your chocolate drawer at work, grab a box on the way home and make a killer chocolate dessert to enjoy before, or after, dinner. We're thinking a small chocolate waterfall out back wouldn't really be that over the top.
Midnight chocolate brownies:
Total time: 1 hour | Serves: 25 brownies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter plus more to butter the dish
1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1 1/2 teaspoons lightly packed grated orange peel
1/4 cup best-quality cocoa
1/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of the foil.
Melt the butter and bittersweet chocolate in a medium metal bowl set over simmering water until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and Grand Marnier, then the grated orange peel.
Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until completely blended and the mixture is shiny and smooth; the mixture will be thickened at this point.
Sift together the cocoa, flour and salt, then stir the flour mixture into the batter until blended. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until puffed and almost set. Do not overbake. Cool while still in the pan, on a wire rack.
Lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil as a handle, and invert the brownies onto the cooling rack. Gently peel off the foil, then return the brownies to their original position. Cool completely. Cut into 25 squares, trimming off the edges if desired.
Each serving: 134 calories; 2 grams protein; 15 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 9 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 27 mg. cholesterol; 21 mg. sodium.