It's no mere coincidence that cherries and almonds taste good together. Almonds are genetically related to all stone fruit and thus they share flavor compounds. Soaking cherries in almond extract and water rehydrates them enhancing the bold cherry flavor and texture. Decadent and fudgy these brownies are perfect for a cold winter day.
Recipe adapted from Cook's Country October/November 2015.
- 1 package dried cherries (4-5 oz.) chop cherries
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
- 4 TB. butter cut into into 4 pieces
- 6 TB. vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup coffee
- 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
- optional 1 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
- Line a 9 x 9 or 8 x 11.5 pan with 2 foil strips that over hang the sides, laying the sheets perpendicular to each other. Push the foil into the corners and up sides of pan. Smooth foil flush to pan, spray lightly with vegetable oil spray.
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine cherries with almond extract and 1/4 cup water. Microwave covered until hot about 1 minute. Let stand covered 5 minutes, do not drain water.
- In a large bowl microwave chocolate and butter, about 45 seconds in a large bowl, whisk until smooth. Whisk in oil,cocoa powder, and 1/3 cup coffee/water.
- Whisk eggs, yolks and vanilla into chocolate mixture until smooth.
- Whisk in sugar and salt until fully incorporated.
- Stir in flour just until combined. Stir in softened cherries and their liquid.
- Pour batter into pan. Smooth top with spatula.
- Bake until slightly puffed and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean with a few moist, fudgy crumbs attached about 22-25 minutes.
- Let brownies cool in pan placed on a wire rack.
- Using foil overhang lift brownies out of pan.
Some winter humor :)