Sweet Almond Paste Fudge Brownies

As much as I love baking, decorating and sampling cake, I have an almost equal love for a dark, chocolatey fudgey brownie.  Brownies are anything but simple, in my opinion, because there's something magical about how that combination of just a few basic ingredients can so quickly transform into a pan of chewy, chocolate comfort.  Gratification is almost immediate, since you don't have to wait long to dig into the pan of still-warm brownies and eat them while they're all soft and gooey, with a scoop of ice cream melting over the top, if you're not feeling so inclined to let them cool first...