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Brownies with dried sour cherries

She asked for chocolate and fruit, so I came up with these.  They're basically the recipe for "Marie's Tea Brownies" from the Betty Crocker Cookbook ca. 1955, but with a few alterations*.

Buttered 8" square pan         Oven 350 degrees F        Time 35 minutes

4 ounces pitted dried sour cherries

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 cup sugar
2 eggs

3/4 cup flour or 110 grams soft wheat berries, milled with 1 teaspoon whole mahleb

1/2 teaspoon ground mahleb (optional, but very nice if you are planning to use almonds)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds

Put the cherries in a bowl, and add boiling water to cover plus about 1/4 inch.  Let soak for at least half an hour and then drain.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8 inch x 8 inch pan.

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler or in the microwave on medium heat, stirring several times until it is all smooth.

Beat the chocolate and butter mixture together with the sugar and eggs until smooth.

Sift or whisk the dried ingredients together, and mix gently into the chocolate mixture.  Add the chopped nuts and cherries and stir just until evenly distributed.

Spread evenly in prepared pan.  Bake 30 minutes.

While baking, make the frosting.

1-2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 tablespoon butter

1 cup powdered sugar

About 1/4 cup milk or cream

Melt the butter and chocolate together as before.  Beat in the powdered sugar and milk as needed to give a smooth, spreadable texture.

Spread over the brownies.  Let cool as long as you can stand and then cut into 2 inch squares and serve.

*to revert to the original recipe,  which is just a little less intensely chocolate:

decrease the chocolate to 2 oz per pan brownies and increase the butter to 1/3 cup.
skip the mahleb and cherries
chopped nuts of your choice are still optional

And use only 1 oz chocolate per pan for the frosting.

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