Saturday, September 18, 2010

Grand Marnier Brownie Bites


Who doesn't like the nicer things of life?  Breakfast prepared and served to you... an early morning run along the beach... a day at the spa??  Combine all three and you most certainly have a day worthy of a rich, decadent treat. 

With our spa appointment set for 10 AM, breakfast was prepared before the sun was up and the bowl licked clean.  Off to the beach, luck was with us when we found an old, yucky tennis ball that someone else had lost in the tossing waves.  But as they say, someone else's loss might be our treasure!

For 45 minutes we frolicked in the foggy mist and shared the beach with the occasional surfer entering or exiting the chilly ocean, but we made sure to let them know that this was our beach and not to get too close.  Now thoroughly wet, tired and sandy we made our way just a few miles south along the coast to Leucadia and the best spa we have yet to find.  Ahh... just imagine... getting our nails done, a special oatmeal shampoo and conditioner, hair completely styled, and our teeth brushed.  Yep... the Grateful Dog does it all!  

Life is good!
Kona and Tavo, our 10 month old Maltese adolescents had "the works" done at the Doggie Spa, but were apparently a bit out of hand and not really enjoying their spa treatments as much as they enjoyed that yucky, used tennis ball at the beach.  Luckily the groomers are patient and loving, and we came home with two adorably clean, beautifully smelling, exhausted puppies who enjoyed a quick snack and proceeded to sleep the afternoon away.

Kona (left) and Tavo after a day at the spa!
While the Grand Marnier Brownie Bites may not be the perfect doggie treat (chocolate is toxic to dogs!), this sumptuous chocolaty treat sounded absolutely divine to me.  Rich chocolate brownies embellished with a touch of grated orange peel and layered with a luscious Grand Marnier enhanced ganache for a bite of pure decadence.





Grand Marnier Brownie Bites
adapted from Epicurious

Brownies:
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 
1 1/4 cups sugar 
2 teaspoons grated orange peel 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
3 large eggs 
3/4 cup all purpose flour

Topping:
1/2 cup whipping cream 
1 teaspoon grated orange peel 
5 1/2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped 
1/4 tsp vanilla extract  
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur  
For the brownies:
Preheat oven to 325°F.  Line 8x8-inch metal baking pan with foil.  Melt unsweetened chocolate and unsalted butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth; cool slightly.  Whisk sugar, grated orange peel, vanilla extract and salt in a large bowl.  Add slightly cooled chocolate to the sugar mixture.  Whisk in eggs 1 at a time, then continue whisking until mixture is smooth and velvety. Add flour and whisk just to blend. Transfer batter to prepared metal baking pan. 

Bake brownies until top is just springy to touch and toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes. If necessary, press down on raised brownie edges to level top. Using the foil, lift the brownies out of the pan to a wire rack.  Cool completely. 

For the topping:
Bring cream and orange peel to simmer in heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat.  Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1/4 tsp vanilla and Grand Marnier.  Refrigerate until thick enough to spread, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. 

Spread topping over brownies. Refrigerate until topping is cold, about 1 hour. Using a hot knife, carefully cut the brownies into squares.  Let brownies stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. 

It's been a long day....

58 comments:

  1. Those brownies look AMAZING!!! I bet they tasted even better. I actually just brought my Lasha Apso to the doggie spa today - he should be ready shortly. Your two doggies are so incredibly cute!!!

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  2. I love the Grand Marnier in chocolate desserts and your brownies looks fantastic. Your doggies are adorable!! I bet they had fun at the spa!

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  3. Wow! Those brownies are making me drool:) Your pups are so cute! We have a Morkie (Maltese Yorkie), and she's so much fun:)

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  4. I love your pups- So cute! needless to say, the brownies look heavenly :)

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  5. Oh my goodness these look so sinful! Especially that shiny, decadent ganache...*sigh* I wish I could have a day at the spa and a brownie!

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  6. They look amazing!!! Must try that topping!!

    Your dogs are so cute! They're more pampered than me. I'm not sure which I like best, playing on the beach, spa day, or at least smelling the lovely aromas from those gorgeous brownies!

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  7. Yes, please...those look GREAT!!!

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  8. Oh wowzers... this looks so decadent! Would you say it's a heavy bite?

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  9. I LOVE the orange and grand marnier in these fabulous looking brownies!

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  10. OMG Kona and Tavo are so cute!!! I have a maltese too and she's 11 months! this is our of cookign question but how do you keep the tear stain away? a day spa sounds so awesome and I wish Bella got one too hehe.

    Anyway, enough for the doggie, the brownie bites look fantastic and with a hint of grand marnier oh wow I want them all! I made brownie bites today too but different variation. Yours look so tempting to try!

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  11. Darling pups!!! And your brownies look fabulous~I may need to venture out of my comfort zone and add some orange to my next batch :)

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  12. Wowsers - I love grand marnier... my new favorite addition to create depth - love the recipe and love those adorable dogs - Megan

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  13. It sounds like the perfect morning to me! These brownies left me speachless.

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  14. Will trade doughnuts for your brownies! I wish I could have been at the spa like the doggies! I can smell those over here! I should be in bed, not about to go run in my kitchen to make brownies!
    -Gina-

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  15. Your pups are just gorgeous & sparkly white now too LOL.

    My dog would love to eat chocolate, she's get most upset that we can't share but we do give here dog choc drops. Not the same as they taste of fat to us but they keep her in her chocolate fix!

    I have a brownie recipe from a friend I love, but I'll give yours a try too as I love the sound of grand marnier and that topping yum.

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  16. a splendour! congrats. i would love to have one of those bites, they are so inviting!

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  17. Wow, just beautiful, the brownies (and the pups too);)

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  18. Lisa, thanks! I have to admit, they actually taste far better than they look! I little piece of heaven!

    Sara, I do too! Thanks!

    Sprinkled, thanks! Morkies are SO adorable!! I've always had big dogs, but I'm enjoying these little lap guys.

    Suchitra, thank you!

    Cilantro, thanks! LOL, loved that comment! It said it all!

    Thanks Sommer... yes they are far more pampered than I am too!

    Thanks Wendy!

    Hester, no, the bite is not too heavy, a bit dense and rich, but not too heavy.

    Thanks Jennifer!

    Tanantha.... wish you lived closer so we could have a "playdate!" I emailed you info regarding the tear stains...

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  19. Lizzy, thank you. The first time I tried these I wasn't sure about how the orange flavor would work, but I'm here to tell you it's amazing!

    Megan & Katerina, thank you!

    What's for dinner... you're on!! An excellent trade!!

    Debs, never heard or the chocolate drops, I'll bet my boys would love them.

    Lacrima, love your profile pic! Thanks!

    Patty, thank you!

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  20. Kim, your puppies are absolutely adorable :o)
    Your brownies sound out of this world decadent and delicious! I love your flavor combination and will have to bookmark this

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  21. Your puppies are soooo cute and those brownies?!!? Wowza! Deeelish

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  22. What a perfect day! These brownies look so decadent :)

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  23. Kim, those brownies look so wickedly delicious and just begging to be devoured. Yum, yum, YUM!

    And your pups! Omigosh! Soooo adorable! I swear when we move out of the apartment and into a house we're either getting a cat or a small dog. We have a pet rat now and love her to death but I'd really like a cat or dog as well.

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  24. Love this recipe. But I love your doggies even more! So cute. I've had 2 maltese in the past as well. My current dog is from the same bichon family. They're great doggies!

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  25. Thanks for the comment on my blog. These remind me a bit of one of my favorite brownie recipes. I guess if I was a dog I probably wouldn't like going to the groomer either. My dog seems to do okay, or so I've been told though he is weird and also thinks it's a treat to go to the vet, as if he's just there for the doctors to love him. Yours do look adorable after their grooming though. :-)

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  26. Such cute dogs!!! Such amazingly fudgy brownies!!!

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  27. omg i've never seen a chocolate brownie as rich and luscious as this! :) they look beautiful

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  28. Wow Liv! This is by far the best brownies I have ever see... I am sure they are full of heavenly flavors as well. I love Kona and Tavo... such cuties!

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  29. What a decadent looking brownie...and what precious little pooches! Can I please have one of each! This recipe looks delicious...a very elegant and fudgy twist on a simple brownie recipe

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  30. Wow, my family has some huge chocolate lovers, and those look absolutely decadent. I'll have to bake them for them sometime!

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  31. These look AMAZING! I have only had grand marnier in my margaritas, but it sure does sound good in brownies! How do you get such a clean cut of the brownie?

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  32. Wow, you just gave the worst chocolate craving I've had in a while. Looks delicate.

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  33. What a delicious way to spice up a brownie. They look so moist and moreish. And your pups are absolutely adorable a bet they keep you busy!

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  34. I wasn't craving chocolate until I saw those..They look yummy. Have to save that recipe for the holiday's.

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  35. The cutest dogs ever and oh yeah the brownies, definitely on my list to try.

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  36. who doesn't love grand marnier?? an in a brownie...the best thing since sliced bread...doesn't even compare!

    congrats!!!!

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  37. Awww they look tuckered! I love this post, the way you wrote it about the doggies was adorable and made me chuckle...because at first I didn't realize you were talking about them. :)

    And look at you! I postpone my reading until Monday and you go and make it on the Top 9! AGAIN! Good for you girl! And on the number one spot!

    I hope you had a most enjoyable weekend.

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  38. That brownie in your picture looks absolutely flawless. It's a perfect cube, the brownie looks dense like fudge and the topping has the perfect shine.

    I'll bet they're trouble...and the pups too. :D
    Congratulations on top 9!

    Matt Kay

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  39. WOW! I can only echo what everyone else says...these look incredible!

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  40. These sound delicious. I love the addition of the orange peel...reminds me of my favorite Lindt dark chocolate bar. Cute dog as well!

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  41. Puppies are too cute and sweet! Looks like they had a great day :) I love how fudgey your brownies look. Very decadant!

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  42. Those brownies look incredible! Ganache on top of brownie... *sigh*

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  43. Congrats on FoodBuzz Top 9. It's a beautiful photo!

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  44. These look positively heavenly! Like something chocoholic's dream of. And your dogs are adorable!

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  45. These brownies are so pretty I'd almost hate to eat them! I said ALMOST. I'd totally eat them. ;) And your dogs are totally adorable, I am a dog owner myself. You described their day in such a wonderfully fun way, I could envision it all. Dogs are the best! :)

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  46. Whoa, I just can't stop looking at that topping. The brownies look amazing too, but the topping just looks insanely delicious. I've never really considered a topping for brownies before - how deprived I've been! Must rectify that situation ASAP...

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  47. You're about to convert me into a chocolate lover with those pictures. Wow, that does look amazing. Your dogs are so cute too. How much fun they had at the beach! At first I thought you were a bit nuts to say that the perfect day included a run and getting up before sunrise (NOT the perfect people day!).

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  48. I love Grand Marnier, I've always loved it in truffles but never thought to add it to brownies. Great idea.

    Sounds like you and your puppies had a wonderful time--they're gorgeous!

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  49. This looks like heaven. I love this. Your dogs are gorgeous... I have 2 shih tzus and they are adorable aswell.

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  50. Ok... your recipe is seriously attempting to convert me into a brownie-lover (which I'm not currently...) It looks and sound REALLY good. I will test the recipe for sure! :)

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  51. Wow Kim, saw these on Pinterest, they look amazing!

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  52. What adorable dogs you have! These brownies sound amazing, chocolate and grand marnier in a fudgy brownie sounds so perfect to indulge in :)!

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  53. Just saw these on Pinterest & repinned - I think us fellow San Diegans need to have a brownie-making party together. You need to bring THESE! :)

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  54. Just saw these on Pinterest & repinned - I think us fellow San Diegans need to have a brownie-making party together. You need to bring THESE! :)

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