Hi, my name is Andrea, and I’m addicted to chocolate and orange. Together, I mean. I make cookies with that combination, I poured this homemade chocolate liqueur all over this orange torte, and I just had to resurrect this recipe for chocolate and orange pastry bars I used to make when I first got married.
This recipe starts with an orange zest-accented pastry crust that you mix in a bowl and just pat into place. Then, it gets pre-baked so the hot crust can help melt a generous layer of semi-sweet chocolate chips. (You might have to stick the pan back in the oven for a couple minutes to help the chips melt.) Then, you get to enjoy my favorite part of the process, which is spreading that soft, shiny, rich chocolate all over the crust. I might as well say it now: These bars are for chocolate lovers only.
Next, you pour an orange batter (similar to that of lemon bars) over the chocolate and bake until the top layer is set. The hardest part is resisting the urge to try them warm out of the oven, with that intoxicating orange aroma tempting you. But they really taste best after a couple of hours.
However, if you, like absolutely no one I know, insist on tasting these bars warm, don’t be alarmed if they seem really gooey and overwhelmingly chocolatey. The flavors will meld once the chocolate layer cools and sets. You’ll be able to taste the buttery crust and notice the bright, refreshing citrus kick. And, if you’re like me, you might want to sprinkle some sea salt over the top to up the ante.
Orange and chocolate. It’s a match made in heaven. Wait…why haven’t I been pouring chocolate liqueur over Mom’s Orange French Toast??!
(Recipe Source: Adapted from Best Ever Chocolate Bars, Great American Recipes, 1988)