Do you know how many years of my life I wasted believing I didn’t like bourbon? It’s a damn shame.
I promise, I didn’t mean to put alcohol in my brownies. They started out as just regular chocolate brownies with cherries and dark chocolate for my dad’s birthday. He loves a black forrest cake, but he loves brownies more than cake, and so I wanted a similar flavor profile in brownie form.
But then I remembered these cookies, and made a game time decision to soak the cherries in bourbon. Of course, if you don’t like bourbon (who are you????), you can totally skip this step and still have some rich and gooey cherry and dark chocolate brownies, but I really feel like the bourbon takes them to the next level.
One of the secrets to perfect brownies is to just ever so slightly under-bake them. They will continue to bake when you let them cool in your pan. My problem is that I am impatient and I never wait long enough to cut into them. Oh and also that I often over estimate the amount of unbaked that is ideal and end up eating brownie batter because I pulled them from the oven a good 10 minutes too early. These were totally still hot and gooey when I photographed them, but I just couldn’t wait. They firm up a bit as they cool making them easier to serve, but still soft and fudgy.
I love the crisp brownie top (my favorite thing about brownies and sometimes hard to achieve with no butter!) and the extra melty chunks of dark chocolate with the bold flavor of the bourbon soaked cherries. These were a huge hit, and the entire pan was gone in one evening!
- 3/4 cup cherries, pitted
- Approx 1/2 cup bourbon
- 5.5 ounces dark chocolate, melted
- 1/2 cup nonfat coffee yogurt*
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate covered cherries**
- Place cherries in a wide shallow bowl. Cover with bourbon and soak for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9" square pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, slowly stir yogurt into melted chocolate. Whisk in sugar, then whisk in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Gently fold in flour until just combined. Strain soaked cherries (save the extra liquid and make yourself a drink!) and fold in soaked cherries and dark chocolate covered cherries.
- Transfer to prepared baking tin and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with a few crumbs, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan then serve. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
*Vanilla yogurt may be substituted. The coffee enhances the chocolate flavor. I suggest adding 1 tsp espresso powder if you use vanilla yogurt. **I found dark chocolate covered cherries at Trader Joe's. You can always use dark chocolate chunks instead, or add more fresh cherries.