Last summer we made a batch of cherry bounce – cherry-infused bourbon – from sweet summer cherries. We shoved them to the back of the refrigerator and promptly forgot about them – or at least tried to forget about them. It’s hard to forget about bourbon and ripe, deep red cherries even when they’re hidden behind the milk and eggs.
The results were ready for Christmas. We shared the wine-dark bourbon with family and friends. The burgundy liquor was festive: a good color for deep winter holidays.
But what of the cherries? The cherries were for us.
The cherries lost the edge off their vibrant red, but retained their juicy flesh and took on the complex aromas and psycho-pharmacological qualities of Kentucky bourbon. Boozy cherries? Don’t mind if I do.
The cherries had a different fate. Fortified by their alcohol content, they waited in the dark recesses of our fridge. Now it’s Valentine’s Day, another holiday for baking. It’s time for warm, gooey bars and cookies, eaten straight from the oven with your love. It’s time for brownies eaten in slow sensuous bites. So, the two were united in an act of love: boozy, drunken cherries and dark, bitter chocolate slowly heated side by side in a fudge-y brownie batter. The bourbon cooked off slowly in the oven, leaving a hint of fruity sour mash. A new beginning for a new love.
We recommend pairing the brownies on a romantic evening. Pair them after dinner with straight bourbon whiskey. Pair them at midnight with champagne. Pair them in the morning with Irish coffee.