Dark Chocolate Cherry Brownies

One of my favorite parts of going home to my parents’ house is seeing what is abundant in their garden and turning it in to something delicious – and that is just what I did over July 4 weekend.

In my apartment, the only thing that is in season right now is the bunch of basil I have managed to keep alive for a month in a water glass on my window sill. I am not complaining about the basil (and have a spinach pesto in mind for it) but it is so fun to walk in the backyard with a basket, and come back to the kitchen ready to cook.

My dad has a sour cherry tree in the back yard, and the cherries were ripe for the pickin’ (and bakin’). Sour cherries are also called tart cherries, or pie cherries. I had never worked with them, but I am glad I did.

Sour Cherries

The most time-consuming part was getting the pits out, because sour cherries are a bit too small for a cherry-pitting device. I pitted them (with the able assistance of my VERY good-natured cousin, ARB) using a wooden barbecue skewer. After washing, remove any stems, insert the pointed end of the skewer into the dimple on the top, and scoop out the pit with the skewer. It’s ok if the cherries get a little mangled – you will be chopping and baking them anyway so they don’t have to be pretty. I recommend having a few bowls ready, so you can keep the pits separate from the fruit you will be using. And don’t wear white.

1 c oat flour
– 1/4 c flour
– 2/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1/2 t baking powder
– 1/8 t kosher salt
– 6 T unsalted butter, softened
– 1 c sugar
– 2 t finely ground coffee (it won’t taste like coffee – the coffee just heightens the flavor)
– 2 eggs
– 2 T milk
– 2 t vanilla extract
– 1/2 – 1 c bittersweet chocolate chips
– 1 c fresh cherries, chopped (1/2 c will go IN the batter, 1/2 c will go ON the batter)

How do I make it?

  • Heat oven to 350° and coat an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a bowl, whisk together flours, cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  • In another bowl, beat butter, sugar and coffee with an electric mixer on high until crumbly, about 30 seconds. It won’t get creamy, just crumbly.
  • Add eggs one at a time; beat on medium until the mixture thickens a bit, about 3 minutes.
  • Add milk and vanilla extract; beat on low until just combined.
  • Add flour mixture; beat on low until a thick batter forms.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips and 1/2 c cherries.
  • Pour into prepared baking dish and top with the remaining 1/2 c cherries.
  • Bake until edges are slightly firm but center is soft, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • I would say cool before cutting, but who would I be kidding?

Original link: http://www.self.com/fooddiet/recipes/2013/03/dark-chocolate-cherry-brownies

Oh, and Happy Birthday ARB!

our-growing-edge-badgeI am trying something new – both with this ingredient and this post. This post is part of the monthly “link up party” called Our Growing Edge, which is an online way to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. Our Growing Edge is the brain child of Genie from Bunny Eats Design, and this month is hosted by Stacey from The Veggie Mama. The posts for July’s link up can be found here.


  1. Tea says

    I’m just stopping by to say thank you for a lovely recipe. I was looking for a way to use sour cherries(store bought frozen-prepitted-phew!) with chocolate in a brownie (not many recipes out there for that!) and was glad to find yours to use as a guideline. I changed up some stuff-reduced sugar by a lot, replaced it with some honey and xylitol, and for fear of them turning too cakey or dry on me because of that change, I put an egg yolk instead of the 2nd egg). I also subbed 2T of butter with applesauce, will try for 3 next time. Also, I put whole spelt instead of the AP flour, and used 1 cup flour total. And put just 1/2cup of cocoa, and got by with cca 1/3cup choc chips. I think I had to put more milk for the batter to look right. And I folded almost all my sour cherries in. Also, mine needed only 20 mins oven time. (I’m sorry this took long, I just wanted to share my experience that these can be made even lighter and healthier and still be yummy.) After all these changes, I wasn’t sure what monstrosity I was gonna pull out of the oven, but it was awesome. The tartness and ‘chocolatness’ play together so well, and the texture was just mmmm…so moist and fudgy. Also, I think they tasted better while fresh and warm, as opposed to after chilling overnight.
    Thanks again, will be making this again for sure.

    • Tea says

      I also forgot to mention that I didn’t put the coffee in and was too lazy to get out my mixer. I don’t know if not beating it affected the texture. I guess my point is that if it survived me, it seems to be a very forgiving recipe :).

  2. Alison says

    Yum! I could go for some cherry brownies right now…as long as I don’t have to pit them again :)

  3. says

    Great submission to Our Growing Edge! I’ve never had a sour cherry before. It sounds quite fiddly to pip them, but if you’re going to cut them up anyway, why not just cut each cherry in half and pick out the stone?

    • says

      Thanks Genie!

      I suppose you could try a knife! I think the problems with that might be threefold: 1) they’re small, so may be hard to navigate with a knife, 2) you would lose a lot of the juice on a cutting board (I wouldn’t want to use a knife with something so small in my hand, and 3) big risk of a cherry-colored mess, if not contained over a bowl.

      The skewer wasn’t really that bad – it will just take a few minutes to prep that many cherries, no matter how you do it.

  4. josie says

    I am trying to picture the pit-removing procedure and just can’t. Do the pits just stick to the skewer?

    • says

      I tried to capture it on film, but it did not work out. You just use the skewer as a pusher/poker. You may also need to use it to slice the side of the cherry open a little, and then use the skewer to push the pit out. You could also use a knife, but it might be slippery.


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