I have a really guilty conscience.
Since high school, I've routinely found myself feeling guilty over silly things, important things, pretty much all of the things. When I was younger, I used to feel an excessive amount of guilt about anything and everything that didn't go 100% the way I would want it to. Everything was my fault. Unsurprisingly, this was also the period in my life when I personally diagnosed myself with OCD. During my sophomore year of high school, I was so wrapped up in my obsessive-complusiveness that my days were made so unnecessarily more difficult by the random routines I would force myself to complete. Every morning, after brushing my teeth, I would brush my tongue a minimum of 300 times. Whenever I would wash my hands, I would mentally sing happy birthday to whichever Facebook friends were having a birthday, in alphabetical order. Fun times!
As time passed, my OCD gradually disappeared. But still, the feeling of guilt was a constant. It wasn't until last year that I made an effort to rid myself of all negative forces and energies holding me back from happiness and serenity. I know I sound like one of those crazy spiritual hippie types right now. (Maybe I am one?) I discovered chakra meditation and even though everybody makes fun of me when I tell them that I'm "breathing in green to open my heart chakra," I like it and it makes me feel better. That's all that matters, right? Since starting meditation, I've found myself much more in tune with myself, my actions, and those of the people surrounding me. And luckily, the guilt is gone.
Well, most of it.
Sometimes, I still feel a little guilty about stupid things, like seasonal produce. I had all of these plans to go blueberry picking, fig picking, strawberry picking over the summer, but they never really materialized. So here I am, rushing to post summer fruit recipes. I'm making it my personal mission to not repeat my stupidity this fall. Instead, my blog is going to be nothing but sweet potatoes and pumpkins. (What if!)
In the meantime, these roasted cherry brownies are my last hurrah to summertime. And no lie, they're one of my favorite things I've ever baked. This brownie recipe comes from Alice Medrich and is one of the best and easiest – there's no actual chocolate, just cocoa powder. But don't worry, the chocolate flavor is still insanely rich and deep. The balsamic roasted cherries (and a dash of cherry liquor) add the most complimentary of flavors and provide extra moistness to the crumb. I'm not feeling guilty anymore.
Balsamic Roasted Cherry Brownies
- 1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
- 1-1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 450 F. On a parchment-lined baking tray, place pitted cherries and sprinkle with sugar and balsamic vinegar. Roast until the cherries start releasing their juice, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and refrigerate while making the brownie batter.
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment.
Add the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt to a medium sized bowl. Microwave on high power for 45 seconds. Stir. Continue with 10 second bursts until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla and eggs and stir, stir, stir. Stir until the batter becomes thick and shiny. Mix in the flour until just combined. Fold in cherries.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake until set, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in pan. Dust with icing sugar before serving.