Friday, February 10, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Brownies

In my opinion, there is always room for a good brownie. For this month's Relief Society Sweet Swap, I wanted to try experiment a bit with a variation on the mint brownies from Our Best Bites. I made some with cherry extract in place of vanilla in the brownies and that was a little too strong for me, so I stuck with vanilla there - then I tried using extract for the frosting and had to use quite a lot to get the level of flavor that I wanted, so I switched to flavoring oil in the frosting and glaze. After a couple variations, I think I wound up with a pretty good recipe! Move over cordial cherries!!

4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1 C butter
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

3 C powdered sugar
4 T butter, softened
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cherry flavoring oil (Lorann)
1-2 Tbs milk 
1-2 drops red food coloring, if desired

Chocolate Glaze:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli)
4 Tbs real butter
3-4 drops cherry flavoring oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 inch pan with foil making sure the foil extends over the edges by at least one inch.  Lightly spray with non-stick spray and set aside.

Chop both unsweetened chocolate and two sticks of butter into chunks and place together in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until just melted and smooth.  Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally. 

With an electric mixer or stand mixer beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla for 2 minutes.  While egg mixture is beating, measure out flour and combine with baking powder.   While mixer is running, slowly add melted chocolate and beat to combine.  Turn beater speed to low and add in flour by spoonfuls.  Mix just until combined.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes or until a knife poked in center comes out clean.

Cool completely on a metal rack. When brownies have cooled to room temperature, prepare frosting.  Combine all frosting ingredients, starting with 1 1/2 tablespoon of milk, and beat until light and fluffy.  Add more milk by teaspoonful as needed.  Spread frosting evenly over brownies and then place brownies in fridge to chill. 

While brownies are chilling prepare chocolate glaze.  Place chocolate chips and 4 tablespoons butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until just melted and smooth.  Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes and then carefully spread on top of the frosting layer.  Return pan to fridge to cool.  When chocolate has hardened, use edges of foil to remove entire brownie from pan.  Cut into squares and serve.

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