Quick! You've got guests coming and only a short time to whip up something special. Well, it's okay, girl-friend. You can relax. Cherry and chocolate are the perfect combination, and you've probably got everything you need right in your pantry!
What you'll need:
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons water
Red food coloring
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cherry extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 box brownie mix (Ghirardellis double chocolate mix is supreme!)
Fresh red cherries (or canned maraschino cherries)
Mini chocolate chips
How to prepare:
Step one: Make the box of brownies first. You can make the frosting once you've thrown the brownies in the oven. Prepare the brownies according to the instructions on the box.
Step two: The frosting. In your standing mixer bowl (or any stainless steel bowl if you'll be using a hand mixer) place sugar, egg whites, water, 2 to 3 drops food coloring, and salt. (Do not add the cherry and vanilla extract yet. Cooking it will cause it to lose its flavor). Set the mixer bowl aside. In a medium saucepan, bring about an inch of water barely to a simmer. Place the mixer bowl over the saucepan so the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the bowl. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it reaches 160 degrees (about 7-10 minutes).
Step three: Fit your standing mixer with the whisk attachment. Add the cherry and vanilla extract. Whip icing on medium-high to stiff peaks (5 to 10 minutes). Set the icing aside. When the brownies are done, allow them to cool completely. (This can be done faster in the freezer, if necessary.)
Step four: Just prior to serving, melt one cup of mini chocolate chips in a glass bowl in the microwave. Heat for 10 seconds, stir, and heat again for 10 seconds. Do this until the chocolate is melted. Ice the brownies with the cherry meringue icing. Cut and serve onto plates. Top each serving with a fresh or maraschino cherry. Drizzle the melted chocolate over each piece (or just on the plate if you want) and sprinkle with whole mini chocolate chips.
Now it's time to impress your guests! (They'll never guess you didn't make the entire thing from scratch). Mmmm, heaven.
Joy--Fearless Farm Girl,
"Farm girl: it's a verb, because it's what you do."