"There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate." -Charles Dickens.
If that is true, what about a friend with dark chocolate and cherries, a classic flavor combo? If you agree that would be even better, then I might be your best friend right now. Mom found this recipe and encouraged me to make it. She is my best girl friend and not the least bit concerned about my waistline. She probably thinks I look a little too thin now. (See? My very best girl friend!)
DARK CHOCOLATE BROWNIES WITH SOUR CHERRIES
Start to finish: 1 hour (30 minutes active), plus 2 hours cooling time
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/ 3 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Wonderslim Wondercocoa)
1 ½ tablespoons canola oil
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet mini chocolate chips, divided (I used non-dairy)
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup, blended with 3 tablespoons lukewarm water
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 Pinch of salt
1 large egg (I used Ener-G egg replacer)
3/4 cup dried sour cherries
1 Position a rack in center of oven. Heat the oven to 350 F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking pan with cooking spray (this is important!)
2 In a small bowl, sift together the flour, powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
3 In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the oil and half of the chocolate chips. Place the pan over the lowest heat and cook, stirring constantly, until just melted and smooth (be careful that the chocolate does not overheat).
4 Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the granulated sugar, corn syrup mixture, almond extract and salt until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the egg until smoothly incorporated. Gently stir in the dry ingredients. Fold in the cherries and the remaining 3 ounces chocolate chips just until well blended. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
5 Bake until almost firm at the center and a toothpick comes out with some moist batter clinging to it, 25 to 30 minutes. Let Cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours.
6 Using a sharp knife, cut into 12 brownies, wiping the blade with a damp cloth between cuts.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 192 calories, 58 calories from fat, 6 g fat (3 g saturated, 0 g trans fats), 15 mg cholesterol, 34 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 3 g fiber, 33 mg sodium.
I had a helper, Chef Andrew to be exact, and thus, fewer hands to take pix along the way. I seriously considered it, but he was already feeling a little grumpy, and we were well past nap time. So there you go. You only get a beauty shot and no play-by-plays complete with him testing the cocoa powder because he didn't believe me that it would taste bad. And I'm sorry about that, because the batter (more a dough) was worth seeing, all thick and rich. If I make it again, maybe I'll post pix. But here it is:
A few notes:
+Don't overcook them. I did overcook slightly causing the edges and a couple of the cherries to be a bit too crunchy.
+Do have the patience to let them set up for the 2 hours after. It's hard, but so worth it.
+Don't let them sit in the pan much past the 2 hours. I did, and it was like scraping old glue out of the pan.
Now, on to the next thing, finding a trainer who will help me work this off. Any recommendations?
You'll want to eat these fairly quickly, like the first couple of days. They seem to dry out a little fast. They're certainly still edible, but not as fabulous after day 2.