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Dark Chocolate Cherry Chipotle Brownies

Deep dark chocolate. Black cherry. Chipotle. Now put it all together for a Dark Chocolate Cherry Chipotle Brownie. The first taste to hit your mouth is the chocolate followed by a just sweet enough but not overly sweet cherry taste. That is when the warm, tingly mouth feel takes over for a sensational brownie experience.

The chipotle does not make the brownie too hot for those of us who have a little less resistance to spicy food but it does make your mouth tingle long after the brownie is gone.

The Kitchen has been on a quest to find great brownie recipes. I would say perfect but does that exist? I mean sometimes you want plain chocolate. Sometimes you want peanut butter and chocolate. How about chocolate with a cream cheese swirl? Triple chocolate? Fudgy or cakey? You get my drift. Friends of the Kitchen could never settle for just one brownie. They need a variety to fit the mood of the day.

This brownie is clearly a versatile brownie. It can be served to teens in the afternoon or to adults paired with a sultry glass of Cabernet after a special dinner.

As for me? I ate it when it was still too warm to cut. I was on my way out the door for a brisk walk before settling down to Super Bowl Sunday festivities and just could not wait. I served the remaining brownies to taste bud-less teens but the next time I make these chocolaty, spicy yums I will serve them in the evening following a special dinner paired with a sultry glass of Cab. An LBD will likely be involved.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Chipotle Brownies

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Lindt 85% cocoa)

½ cup milk

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

¾ cup all purpose flour

¾ cup Dutch processed cocoa

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper (this can be reduced to your taste)

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 cup chopped dried cherries

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350°. Create a foil sling in a 9x9 baking pan by lining it with an extra long piece of foil that hangs over both edges. Then cut a second long piece of foil that hangs over the remaining two edges. Spray the foil with cooking spray and set aside.

In a microwave safe dish melt the chocolate, milk, and butter and microwave at 15-20 second intervals, stirring well in between. The stove top may also be used. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring constantly. Chocolate scorches easily so be careful to use only low heat.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, chili pepper, and granulated sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar and whisk until well blended. Add the coarsely chopped cherries and toss to coat them with the flour mixture. This step will help prevent the cherries from sinking to the bottom of the pan while baking.

In a small bowl whisk together the eggs and vanilla. Add this to the melted chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Pour the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Be careful to avoid over mixing. Over mixing will promote the development of gluten and will yield a tough brownie.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula and press the batter into the corners and to the edges.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or into a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean.

Let the brownies cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before lifting them from the pan and setting them on the wire rack to cool completely.

When the brownies are completely cool very gently place a cutting board on the top of the brownies and flip the boards so that the brownies are foil side up on the cutting board. Very carefully peel the foil from the brownies and then gently flip them right side up, using a second cutting board.

Cut the cooled brownies into 3 x 3 squares of over the top decadence.

Serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream or a pour of dark fruity cab paired with an LBD.

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