Victory Brownies with Heat

Cazuela of Spokane, Washington created this recipe during the Presidential Election of 2008 as a way of sharing a Victory with co-workers, hence the name. According to Cazuela, the Hazelnuts are the “star of the show” but walnuts may be used instead. I’ve never figured out if these co-workers were all rooting for the same result; or if the “heat” was like a Victory Touch Down Dance.

With the 2016 Presidential Election in the final count-down, it seemed a fun recipe to share no matter what your political views may be. Let’s just say I’m keeping mine to myself even if it does seem like my vote was a “throw away” as far as political affiliations are concerned.

The closer we get to election day, the more I dread coming home – the answering machine packed full of “vote for me” messages; the mailbox stuffed full of flyers, and those dreaded volunteers knocking on your door just as you are sitting down for dinner.

Years ago, before there was a Hubby and a Kiddo in my life, my roommates and I canvassed a neighborhood to “get out to vote” on election night. We came upon a woman who was a new American citizen – and this was her first election. She truly wanted to vote. The problem was that she had gone into labor. She believed God had sent us to her. Maybe – all I wanted to do was to get her to the hospital – after all, she was giving birth! She wanted to vote first and the fact that we were providing rides for people to vote had to be a God send. I can’t believe we actually stopped for her to vote BEFORE taking her to the hospital. And just for the record, she gave birth to a bouncing baby boy.

Victory Brownies makes me think of another time in history – and Victory Gardens. While I love garden-fresh veggies, I like sweets even more . . .

Victory Brownies with Heat
2 (1 oz) squares unsweetened chocolate
1 (1 oz) square semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter 8-inch square baking pan; set aside.

Melt unsweetened chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in brown sugar, white sugar, and honey; mix until sugar is dissolved. Beat in eggs, a little at a time.

Add flour, salt, baking powder, vanilla, hazelnuts, cayenne pepper, and orange zest. Stir until blended well and mixture is glossy.

Pour batter evenly into pan. Bake until the surface looks dry and a toothpick inserted in the center has just a film of chocolate on it, 30 to 40 minutes.

Cool on a rack about 12 minutes and cut into squares while still warm.

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