Black Forest Brownies

Brownie Week just got fancy. There is something about the combination of cherries and chocolate that always seems high-class to me. Strawberries and chocolate is sophisticated, but cherries and chocolate takes it up another notch.

Dates (the fruit) and I have a love/hate relationship. I love what they can do for a recipe — bind, sweeten, caramelize — but there is something about their taste I just don’t like. And their appearance really doesn’t help, but I don’t want to gross you out. Let’s just say if I saw one on the floor out of the corner of my eye, then I may run for a fly swatter. I’m learning to love them, just like I learned to love mushrooms and coconut water and bean sprouts, but it’s slow-going.

If there is anyone out there like me with an aversion for what everyone else considers nature’s candy, then here is a date free brownie for you.

Black Forest Brownies

Makes 8

2 cups dried cherries

4 cups raw rolled oats

1/2 cup agave nectar

1/3 cup cacao powder

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup sweet cherries (I used frozen and defrosted)

  1. Combine the dried cherries, oats, agave, cacao, and salt in the food processor. Process until it forms a ball.
  2. Press the dough into a lined loaf pan. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  3. Mash the sweet cherries with a  potato masher until broken up. Drain through a sieve to get rid of the excess liquid.
  4. Top the brownies with the cherries before serving.

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