So you may have noticed that my blog has been quiet for a few days. If you didn’t know, I’ve been at Blissdom in Nashville, and I have a ton to say about it, but I’m still recovering. You don’t want to see the laundry pile I have yet to complete. Before I left, however, I made a special treat to share while I was at Blissdom.
This is a recipe I received from a friend a few years ago and made regularly for awhile but haven’t made in at least two years and probably longer. Shame on me. Or good for me – because they are awfully good. I think I still have two or three left right now, but not for long! These little brownie bites with a secret cherry in the center are awesome – and super easy to make!
Cherry Bliss Bites
2 c flour
2/3 c cocoa
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 jar maraschino cherries
12 oz chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
10 T maraschino cherry juice, reserved from the jar
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa and stir until well combined. Add the flour and stir until just mixed.
Scoop out about a tablespoon or a little more of the dough (I use my small cookie dough scoop for this one) into an ungreased small muffin tin. Trust me, for some reason, these release far better from ungreased pans than from greased, and I’ve tried both ways.
From there, you need to form it into little tarts. I have a cool little wooden tool I picked up somewhere that is designed for this, but you can also use your thumbs, which is what I did before I had this tool. Whether it’s your thumbs or a special tool, simply dip into a little flour, shake off the excess, then press down to make a hole in the center. Dip and repeat until you’ve created all your crusts.
At this point, remove your cherries from the jar, but save the juice! If you have lots of cherries (e.g., my Costco sized jar), start placing a cherry into each crust. If you have a smaller jar, cut each cherry in half or go buy another jar. Yes, I did call my husband at his basketball game and ask him to pick me up a new jar.
Now you’re ready for the last step, which is making the fudgy center. Yum. Melt your chocolate with the evaporated milk in a heavy saucepan on low heat. It won’t take much to melt, and you don’t want to burn it. I usually start this step after I’ve dropped my crusts into the pan, and the timing works out well. Once the chocolate is completely melted together – stir it occasionally while it’s melting – add 10 T of the cherry juice and stir gently until it’s incorporated. At first, the cherry juice will resist, but it will come together if you give it a minute or two.
Using a spoon, pour enough of the fudgy mixture over each of the cherry bites to cover the cherry. I always have extra left over when I make these, so don’t feel like you have to hold back and skimp on the fudgy goodness for each bliss bite.
Place the tins into a 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes. Let them cool completely before removing them from the muffin tins. I find that freezing brownies makes them extra chewy, so I usually freeze mine – outside in the winter – then pop them from the tins. These will keep for up to a week in a sealed container on your shelf. If they last that long, that is…