Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cranberry Almond Brownies Recipe

Our cookie contest is on!!!!  What beautiful cookies (including bars) coming our way...and therefore your way.

And I am having so much fun.

Denise Zaky offered this recipe, which she found from King Arthur Flour, but she amended it, so we’re using the recipe that she provided. King Arthur Flour asked for candied cherries and their flour, of course. Denise amended to suit her cupboard’s needs – as I would have done.

Now many of you know that I need to eat gluten-free, so I made two batches of these. One with all of Denise’s ingredients and one gluten-free. 

{And one more, which I’ll explain at the end of this post.} My taste-testers were over on Thanksgiving and loved the brownies!!!  All of them. What was interesting is they couldn’t taste the difference between my first batch of brownies, GF or regular. Ha!  But again…read on for the “rest of the real” story.

Cranberry Almond Brownies from Denise Zaky


           1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

·         1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur (brandy or apple juice)

·         3/4 cup semisweet chocolates

·         1/2 cup butter

·         1 cup sugar

·         1/2 teaspoon salt

·         2 large eggs

·         3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour  [**NOTE: for gluten-free, use ¾ cup sweet rice or rice flour and 1 teaspoon Xantham gum]

·         1/2 teaspoon baking powder

·         1/2 cup diced almonds

·         1/2 cup Semisweet Chocolates

            If you want to have chocolate for coating these delicious morsels, you’ll need one more cup of Semisweet Chocolate and 2 tablespoons water or milk.  (*see note below)


1) Place dried chopped cranberries in a microwave-safe container,  
sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Amaretto and cover. Microwave for 45  
seconds. Set aside to soften and cool. (Note, I forgot to chop these. But they were fine because they’re small.)
Gluten-free 9" round

Regular mix 8x11" rectangle
2) Melt together the semisweet chocolate and butter over low heat, or in the microwave. {If you do in the microwave, which I did, only go on medium high for 15-20 seconds at a time so they don’t overcook.) Stir in the sugar and salt. Whisk well. Set aside to cool to lukewarm. [Okay BIG NOTE -- the rest of the real story – I forgot on the first batches to add the sugar and they turned out great, so I think that’s because the original recipe called for unsweetened chocolate and sugar. Since Denise had called for semisweet chocolates, the sugar was already in the mix, so to speak. When I remade the brownies using the sugar, they were a tad too sweet, but I think they both worked. It just depends on what mood you are in, don’t you think?]

3) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8" x 8" square pan or  
9" round pan.  [I used an 8 x 11 rectangle for the regular brownies and an 9" round for the GF to make sure I didn't get them mixed up.]

4) Whisk the eggs, one at a time, into the chocolate mixture. Stir in  
the flour (or gluten-free flour and Xanthan gum) and baking powder, then the soaked cranberries and extra semisweet chocolates.

5) Spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake the brownies for 25 to 30  
minutes, until set. Remove from the oven, and cool before cutting.

6) To dip brownies in coating chocolate: Cut brownies into 1 and 1/4" squares,  
patting crumbs into sides of brownies. Wrap and place in the freezer.  [Note: I did not put them in the freezer. Once cool, they were fine to dip. But you could freeze. I’ve got extras in there right now. Yum!]

All the brownies looked like this without chocolate! Light and fluffy.
7) Melt the 1 cup of semisweet chocolates and water or milk.  Melt coating chocolate by microwaving it in 15-second  bursts, and stirring between bursts until most of it is melted. To  make a dark, shiny glaze, mix ½ cup + 1 tablespoon hot milk with the  melted coating chocolate. Stir vigorously, until the grainy mess  smoothes itself into a dark, shiny glaze. The glaze will be firm but  not hard, like the chocolate glaze on your favorite snack cakes.

8) Using a chocolate dipping fork [I used wooden skewers], skewer a brownie and plop the brownie into the glaze, and  pull it out. Allow excess chocolate to drip back into the dipping bowl to remove excess coating.  Place on parchment to set.  [Note: I used a long barbecue-style toothpick; I could have used a fondue fork, I imagine]  **Also, I had two separate bowls to do the dipping between regular brownies and gluten-free brownies.

Yield: Denise said 3 dozen dipped brownies but I only got 16 brownies from 8 x 11 pan. I think perhaps mine were cut too big? Whatever...delicious!!!! And so pretty and glossy.

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  1. I have to try these. Chocolate and cherries -- yum! I'm not surprised that everyone loved them. They look great even without the glaze!

    ~ Krista

  2. Krista , I used cranberries per our contestee's suggestion.