Fruit and Nut Brownies

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Lucy had her first piece of chocolate before she could walk. My husband Chris slipped it to her while she was sitting in her stroller. I was not happy— sugar, chocolate, caffeine at 1!! My objections to the children drinking sweet milky tea at an early age were also met with rolling eyeballs and loud sighs. “After all,” my husband said,  "I started drinking sweet milky tea when I was 4 years old and I turned out OK .” This was no comfort to me.

I still blame my husband for Lucy’s sweet tooth.

I confess, though, that I had Lucy in mind when I made this brownie recipe.  Everyone has a favorite brownie recipe if not two or three, and I thought I had the best until I discovered the one below. No one guesses that cherries are in these brownies but everyone has at least two of them and sometimes three. They are rich, crumbly and gooey, and the chocolate, pecan, and cherry combination is spectacular!

This adapted recipe from David Lebovitz is from his amazing cookbook  'Ready for Dessert'. Many people know him for his ice cream cookbooks and I’ll bet he has an ice cream recipe with chocolate, pecans and cherries somewhere.

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Preheat oven to 350°

Line the inside of a 9” square pan with a large piece of parchment paper (hanging over the sides— to help facilitate the removal of the baked brownies from the pan.)

Grease the sheet with butter. Toast pecans set aside to cool.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter then add chocolate. Stir over low heat until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in sugar & vanilla. Beat/whisk in eggs one at a time. Add flour & stir quickly for one minute until batter loses it’s graininess and becomes smooth, glossy, and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Stir in chopped nuts and fruit. Pour into pan, tilting slightly to level the batter. Bake until center feels almost set— about 35 minutes. Do not over bake.

Let cool completely in the pan then cut brownies and place on a platter.

Fruit and Nut Brownies   

  • 6 tablespoons butter cut into pieces
  • 8oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup of all- purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries chopped
  • 1 cup of toasted (350° for 10 minutes) pecans chopped
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After just one small taste test (because after smelling them for an hour, I can’t wait), leave them on a platter uncovered overnight and then they are perfect the next day… for breakfast with a cup of coffee. I can have chocolate for breakfast I am an adult!!! (see above).

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Written by Claudia Alexander

Adapted from David Lebovitz