Last week I was presented with an offer from a fellow Wisconsin food blogger. She was able to get a great deal on Door County cherries and was I interested? Of course I was, and now I have approximately twenty-five pounds of washed and pitted fresh cherries stashed away in my freezer. I have a lot of ideas for these home-grown treasures, but I decided to start simply with brownies. Brownies are easy and quick to prepare. There's no mucking about with big appliances; just melt butter and chocolate, beat some eggs with sugar, add the previously mentioned chocolate then some flour, and into the oven it goes. This version adds the simple step of roasting the cherries, and you have to preheat the oven anyway, so why not? The brownie is rich and chocolatey and the bits of tart cherry pieces interspersed throughout give it a special lift of texture and flavor. I made sundaes with these brownies as the base and our favorite vanilla and chocolate ice cream, plus a homemade cherry sauce. Think about this one the next time you need a fast dessert. Your friends and family will thank you.
Roasted Cherry Brownies
(makes one 9x9 inch pan)
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into quarters
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 450F. Combine the cherries and the 2 tablespoons of 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 heat to 350F. Line a 9x9 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, 1 1/4 cups 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 tester inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, about 30 to 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.
( from Annie's Eats )