My good friend Debbie at @bringingbutterback made a batch of my roasted strawberry and salted caramel brownies last night and kindly texted a picture of her results to me (phenomenal, btw), which of course made me crave them too. I didn’t have any strawberries in the house, but my girl @rjeter27 hooked me up with a Costco-sized bag of dried tart cherries, and I’ve been waiting for the right inspiration to use them up.
Debbie texting me a picture of her brownies (and causing instant crave-ication) was the inspiration.
Lo and behold, spicy drunk cherry brownies! You know I always have to put a little spin on a recipe, that’s just how I do. So I thought…
“what could I do to these cherries? I should reconstitute them in hot water so they’re plump…
Ooh, maybe I can use hot booze instead of hot water. *scours cabinets for booze*
Dark chocolate goes good with spicy too… maybe I can add cayenne to the drunk cherries…”
This is the basic one bowl brownie recipe that I snagged from smitten kitchen. It’s my go-to, one bowl brownie base that works with all types of add-ins. it’s the Coldstone Creamery of brownie batters.
Spicy Drunk Cherry Brownies
adapted from smitten kitchen
for the cherries
3/4 cup tart dried cherries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (use 1/8 tsp if spicy isn’t your thing. these have a kick!)
2 tbsp brandy (or your favorite boozy selection)
for the brownies
3oz dark chocolate (60%+), chopped
1 stick of butter
1 (scant) cup of sugar (“scant” just means a little bit less than)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
for the cherries
Combine cherries, sugar, water and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add in your booze (I used brandy). Let steep until it cools to about room temperature – about 20 minutes.
Drain liquid and set aside.
for the brownie batter
Heat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment, extending it up two sides. Butter the parchment or spray it with a nonstick cooking spray.
In a heatproof, microwave safe bowl, combine chopped chocolate and butter. Microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each, until butter and chocolate are mostly melted (took two rounds [1 full minute] in the microwave for me). Whisk in sugar, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon or flexible spatula. Stir in half of the drunk cherries.
Scrape brownie batter into prepared pan, spreading until mostly even. Top with remaining drunk cherries.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.