“Mummy, do we have any chocolate?” asked my daughter visiting for a few days from London.
“Well, how about a quick batch of brownies? Do you want anything in them? Nuts? Fruit? Chocolate chips?” She suggested raisins and I said they’d have to be golden raisins since I reserve the Thompson’s for breakfast oatmeal, but when I looked in the dried fruit bin, I found that there was a packet of organic dried cherries and so it was.
Speedy Brownies: 350 degree oven. 11″x7″ glass pan (or use an 8″x”8″ for thicker bars.) Grease pan, top with parchment, then grease and flour the parchment. (In the “olden days,” we did not use parchment. I prefer it, but it’s not a requirement and grease/flour works.)
In a pan, melt 1/2 cup butter and 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate. Add 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Cool a bit, then add 2 eggs, stirring quickly to avoid scrambled eggs in your cookies. (If adding nuts, fruits or chips, stir them into the pan now.)
Stir in the dry ingredients: 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.
Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for 27 minutes (no more!) if using the 11″x7″ dish or 30 minutes in the 8″x8″ dish. Gentle toothpick test to ensure middle isn’t raw, but if you poke a chocolate chip, well, do it again.
The brownies can be left plain or sprinkled with powdered sugar or frosted. I make a simple frosting: melt 1 cup chocolate chips and 2 Tablespoons butter. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 c. powdered sugar and 3-4 Tablespoons of half and half. It should look and feel thicker than if being spread on a cake because you frost them after they’re out of the oven for 5 minutes. Drop frosting in tablespoons and let it warm to the brownie, then spread it with an offset spatula. Serve warm or cold. (Next day, cold, is best. My view.)
The cherries provide a tart taste to go with the bitter chocolate and may not please every palate. Then again, some people prefer nothing added to brownies, not even frosting.