Triple Chocolate Cherry Brownies

The other day when I picked up some sweet red cherries at the grocery store I had big plans on how I was going to use them. You know, maybe make some cherry ice cream or even a cherry pie. But like it always is when I bring fresh cherries into the house the bag quickly disappears. Andrew and I grab a few handfuls here and there and suddenly you are left with only a few. Certainty not enough to make a cherry pie! After making the Cherry Bon Bon Cookies the other day I was left craving more of the chocolate and cherry combination.

Besides just dunking the cherries into melted chocolate and eating them I needed something a bit more indulgent. Cherry brownies! That was it! Chewy, fudgy triple chocolate brownies studded with chocolate chunks and fresh cherries. Do I seriously need to go on? :D So rich, so chocolately, so delicious! These brownies are incredible! I added a dash of cherry flavoring to the batter and it took these brownies over the top. Pair with a scoop of ice cream and a glass of milk for an indulgent summer treat.

Triple Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Yield: 24 brownies

Ingredients:

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cherry flavoring
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 ½ cups sugar
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon table salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Place another piece of parchment paper in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk cocoa, espresso powder, and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. Add eggs, yolks, vanilla, cherry flavoring and almond extract, and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour, cinnamon and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces and chopped cherries.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1½ hours.
Using parchment overhang, lift brownies from pan. Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

Source: adapted from Cook's Illustrated, March/April 2010

One Year Ago: Fresh Fruit Tart