A couple of weeks ago I was sent a bag of goodies by the lovely Sugar and Crumbs, who are a company selling naturally flavoured icing sugars and cocoa powders. I was sent their new flavours to try, which included a salted caramel icing sugar, coffee icing sugar, black cherry icing sugar, and my personal favourite: cherry cocoa powder.
I found this cocoa powder really easy to work with, and it had a great cherry flavour. In these brownies I used some cherry cocoa and some normal, as I didn’t want the cherry to be too overpowering, as well as making my sample last longer!
These brownies would be perfect for a Valentine ’s Day tea party, as they are squidgy and chocolatey, with a hint of cherry, and some juicy cherry pieces. Or, of course, you could just eat them all yourself…!
Chocolate Cherry Brownies:
350g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
125g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
30g Sugar and Crumbs cherry cocoa powder
20g normal cocoa powder
60g dried cherries, soaked in boiling water mixed with 1 tbsp cherry cocoa powder for 2 hours, then chopped.
80g dark chocolate, chopped
20 x 30cm baking tray, greased and lined with baking paper
Pre-heat your oven to 180°C
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, then pour onto the sugar and mix well. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then add the vanilla.
- Add the eggs to the mixture and stir, then sift over the flour, baking powder and cocoas.
- Fold in, then add the chopped chocolate and cherries and stir again.
- Pour into the tin and spread out evenly, then cook for 25-30 minutes, until the top has a crust, but still a slight wobble.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then cut into slices
These cookies are the ultimate in speedy baking – you can make them from scratch in half an hour, perfect for hungry hoardes! You can have the mixture prepared in ten minutes, bake for 15, cool for 5, and you have gorgeous soft baked cookies, still with melted chocolate chunks in them.
The best thing is that you can adapt these to suit any flavour you want. Simply add a different combination of flavours: chocolate, zest, dried fruit, cocoa powder or anything you fancy! Milk chocolate and raisins also works well, as does chocolate and pecan.
30 minute cookies
For the basic cookie dough:
80g caster sugar135g softened butter
80g soft brown sugar
190g self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Chocolate chunk cookies:
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
100g white milk or dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
Chocolate orange cookies:
Zest of ½ an orange
30g of cocoa powder, instead of 30g of the flour
60g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
White chocolate and cranberry cookies:
½ tsp cinnamon
60g dried cranberries
60g white chocolate, chopped into chunks
2 baking trays, greased and lined with baking paper.
- For the basic dough, put the butter and sugars in a bowl and beat until combined. Add the egg and stir well.
- Add the flour and bicarbonate and mix into a dough (not forgetting to substitute 30g of flour for 30g of cocoa if making chocolate cookies).
- Next add your extra ingredients, chocolate chips, orange zest or vanilla, and stir in.
- Divide the dough into 12, and roll into balls, then place on your baking trays, spread well apart.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until just starting to brown at the edges. The middle will still be soft, but don’t worry because they will firm up as they cool.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes before taking off the baking paper and eating!