These rich and moist brownies melt in your mouth as you savor the deep chocolate and sweet cherry flavors.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa (powder, either regular or dutch-processed, but not sweetened)
- 1/4 teasoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup dried dark cherries (may be found near other dried fruits in packages or in bulk bins)
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 1 recipe of Creamy Brownie Frosting (see below)
- Dark Cherry preserves (preserves have whole pieces of fruit)
Heat oven to 350o. Prepare 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan: spray pan with unflavored non-stick spray. Place a piece of parchment paper that is just as wide as the pan, with extra for overhangs on two sides, into the pan, then spray the paper with the non-stick spray.
In a medium or large bowl, combine the melted butter, the sugar and the vanilla. Beat with a large spoon until well-blended.
Add eggs and mix in well with the spoon.
In a small bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking poweder and salt and stir briefly with a fork. Add the dry mixture to the batter in the larger bowl. Mix well with the spoon until all ingredients are combined. Do not beat with an electric beater.
Sprinkle the cherries with the 1 teaspoon of flour and toss to coat. Sprinkle the cherries onto the batter then gently mix them in with the fork just until incorporated.
Scrape batter into the prepared pan, spreading to the corners.
Bake for 23-28 minutes. Test for doneness after 20 minutes, then at 3 minute intervals thereafter until a toothpick inserted in the center of the batter comes out nearly clean. Remove pan from oven and place on cooling rack until completely cool, approximately 2 hours.
Creamy Brownie Frosting:
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened but not completely melted
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
Using a spoon, mix the butter, cocoa, corn syrup and vanilla in a small bowl. Add the powdered sugar to the bowl and combine lightly. Add one tablespoon milk to the bowl and stir well until the frosting is smooth and creamy. If the consistency is too thick, add drops of milk until spreading consistency is reached. Do not thin it too much.
To frost the brownies:
Holding the parchment paper overhangs one in each hand, carefully lift the cooled brownies in one piece from the pan, remove the paper from the bottom and place on a large plate.
Spread the frosting smoothly across the top of the sheet of brownies, using a narrow spatula or a wide knife. Using a sharp knife wtih an 8 or 9" blade (size of your pan), cut the brownies in half, then cut each half in half again, yielding 4 strips. Turn the brownies and cut in half and in half again, so you have 16 squares.
Use a flatware teaspoon to make a shallow depression in the frosting on the top of each square. Spoon some cherry preserves into a small cup, then spoon a scant teaspoon into each of the depressions on the brownies. Try to get a piece of cherry on each one.