Cherries. Brownies. Cherries + brownies. Need I really say more? Reading those two words was pretty much all it took to convince me to make these. Cherry and chocolate are a perfect pairing, in my opinion. The dark chocolate is complimented by the deep, subtle sweetness of the cherries. My original plan was to make these for dessert one night while we were on vacation, but the darned grocery store had other plans. They had practically every other fruit you could imagine but they were all out of cherries.
Once I get an idea in my head, I’m not one to give it up, so I continued to think about these brownies throughout our vacation. The day we got back I made sure to buy the ingredients and the next night I made them. These are really not much more involved than regular brownies. Just pit and halve some cherries, toss with a bit of sugar, and roast them for 10 minutes. Then mix into the brownie batter and bake as you normally would. I tried the brownie batter in the original recipe and it was okay, but it doesn’t come close to my favorite recipe. The version below is adapted with my preferred brownie base and extra cherries. Hurry up and take advantage of cherry season while you still can!
Yield: 1 9x9 inch pan
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1¼ cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar, divided
5 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into quarters
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 450˚ F. Combine the cherries and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a small roasting pan and toss well to combine. Roast the cherries for 10 minutes, or until they begin to release their juices. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350˚ F.
Line a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with foil. Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray.
In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, remaining sugar, vanilla and salt; whisk until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture until incorporated. Then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined. Gently fold in the roasted cherries. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread with a spatula to make an even layer. Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, about 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares as desired. Store in an air-tight container.