1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained, reserving 5 tablespoons of the syrup
8 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar,
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups ground almonds
14 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
Cherry Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows) or 1 cup whipped cream lightly sweetened with a tablespoon or two of reserved cherry syrup
48 maraschino cherries for decoration, drained and patted dry
Cherry Chocolate Ganache
4 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons reserved cherry syrup
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Insert paper liners in 48 mini muffin cups.
Pat the cherries dry and chop them roughly. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a heat proof bowl in the microwave
for 2 1/2 - 3 minutes, stirring once or twice until the butter is fully melted
and the chips are almost all melted. Stir until all the chocolate is melted
and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Stir in the vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons
of the reserved maraschino cherry syrup and the sugar. Let cool slightly. Beat
in the eggs, ground almonds, salt and chopped cherries. Divide batter between
the prepared muffin tins filling the tins almost full. A small ice cream scoop
helps with this.
Bake for 10 – 14 minutes or until the tops are set and feel firmish to the
touch but the insides are still soft. Do not over bake. Let cool in pan for
5 minutes then turn out to a wire rack to finish cooling.
If using chocolate ganache, spoon some ganache on top of the brownies, top
each with a maraschino cherry and refrigerate for at least half an hour to firm
the ganache. Can be made a day ahead. If topping with cream, pipe or dollop
on the whipped cream just before serving and top each brownie with a cherry.
Chocolate Cherry Ganache: Pour chocolate chips into a small heatproof bowl.
Heat the cream and cherry syrup in a small pan over medium high heat until it
just comes to a boil. Pour the hot milk mixture over the chocolate chips and
let set for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth and glossy. Let set for about 10 –
15 minutes then spoon over the brownies.
Makes 48 Brownie Bites.
These brownies can be baked in an 8 inch square pan if you prefer; just
increase the cooking time to about 25 minutes. The top should be set but still a
little squiggly inside. They will firm up as they cool.
Recipe developed by Carol Kicinski.
Recipe and photo credit: National Cherry Growers Foundation.