The cherry craze is still going strong.
The only problem is that rather than eating those little globules of juicy sweetness raw the way I normally do with the piles we used to buy at home, I’m constantly tempted to bake with them. I want to recreate all those glorious memories of my vacation in Wisconsin with glazed sour cherry-packed puff pastries called Kringles, thickened concoctions of chunky jams, sourdough pancakes studded with softened, tangy cherries and, most importantly, crumbly, cakey cake doughnuts pink-stained from cherry juice and laced with macerated cherry bits.
This is a testament to how much the human taste buds can change, because a month ago, none of that would have sounded appealing to me. If that doesn’t sound appealing to you either, you should do yourself a favor and traipse up to Door County, if only for a day.
On the plus side, baking with cherries comes in handy when the precious cherries that you stored in the fridge thinking, “I can’t eat these now, I should wait until tomorrow when I literally have no food in the fridge and I’ll eat them for dinner with some yogurt…and cookies…and let’s be real, leftover coffeecake muffins…”
I know you’re probably thinking, WHO EVEN WAITS TO EAT CHERRIES? WEIRDO. I realize I choose the most inappropriate times to exercise self-restraint.
Anyway, my sadly over-ripened cherries found a home in a baked good that, of course, wasn’t inspired in the least by my Wisconsin-inspired cherry craze, but as soon as I saw them, I knew I had to make them.
Oh my YUM. Say hello to these brownies, velvety and lush with pockets of cherries roasted until juicy and extra-tender, rich and melty-on-your-tongue from a cup of chocolate and a modest swipe of butter.
They’re even delicious with white whole wheat flour.
You will not regret these.
(Unless you don’t like cherries.)
And even then, these might convert you!
As usual, I used white whole wheat flour in these instead of AP, and could not discern any wheaty differences. I cut down on the butter and sugar slightly from the original recipe and used my Costco sack of low-quality chocolate chips instead of a mix of semisweet and unsweetened chocolate as the original recipe calls for.
As my friend Lilly would say: do whatever you want.
Even though I belong to the thicker-is-always-ALWAYS-better camp in terms of brownies, I used a shallow 9×13 pan instead of a 9×9 because that’s all I had. Baking time wasn’t significantly different, but check the brownies at 25 minutes just in case.
Roasted Cherry Brownies
Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 scant cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1) Preheat oven to 450 F. Toss the cherries with 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a small roasting pan until well combined. Roast until the cherries begin to release their juices, about 9-10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack – set aside while you make the brownies.
2) Reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Line pan with aluminum foil (leaving an overhang on opposite sides to lift the brownies out afterward) and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Alternatively: simply spray a pan with the nonstick spray (preferably PAM Baking spray with flour. It’s awesome!!) Depends how much clean up you’re willing to do after.
3) Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a heatproof bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, and microwave again in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted. Alternatively: use a double boiler: Set over a pan of simmering water and heat chocolate and butter until melted and smooth, stirring frequently.
4) Once chocolate and butter are melted, whisk in the cocoa powder until incorporated. Set aside to cool slightly.
5) Whisk the remaining 1 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the flour, using a rubber spatula to gently stir in just until incorporated. Gently fold in the roasted cherries.
6) Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Remove the pan to a wire rack, and
let me be the first to wish you luck in allow ing the brownies to cool completely before lifting them out and burning your tongue while eating cutting into squares for serving.