Gluten Free Cherry Brownie Bites Recipe

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by Carol Kicinski on June 17, 2010

One thing I always have in my fridge is a jar of maraschino cherries. There is something about their vibrant red color that just makes me happy. As a kid I called them “cheery cherries”. And to this day I am hard pressed to suppress a smile when presented with a dessert topped with a maraschino cherry. Even the most humble dish of store bought ice cream becomes an event when topped with a maraschino cherry. And as a food blogger, I find that the little pop of red from a cherry can brighten up any photo.

So you can imagine how pleased I was when asked to develop gluten-free recipes for the National Sweet Cherry Growers & Indrustries Foundation.

The obvious choice, for me anyway, is to pair these sweet cherries with rich, dark chocolate. Thus Gluten-free Cherry Brownie Bites were born. Fudgy, gooey gluten-free brownies (which are grain–free as well) are studded with chunks of sweet cherries. I couldn’t decide if the perfect topping would be a chocolate ganache or very lightly sweetened, whipped cream. So I did both! My husband, who prefers his desserts on the sweeter side, voted for the ganache topped brownies while I preferred the whipped cream. I must say that the resulting contrast of toppings made for a fun game of edible checkers.

Gluten Free Cherry Browine Bites

These brownies can be baked in an 8 inch square pan if you prefer; just increase the cooking time to about 25 minutes. The top should be set but still a little squiggly inside. They will firm up as they cool.

I love the presentation of baking them in mini-muffin tins and with swim suit season just around the corner the portion control is a plus.

I ground my own almonds using about 2 cups of slivered almond to produce 1½ cups of ground almonds. I wanted little flecks of nut meat through out. If you prefer a finer texture use finely ground almond meal from blanched almonds.

Gluten Free Cherry Brownie Bites

Gluten Free Cherry Brownie Bites

Gluten Free Cherry Brownie Bites Recipe

Ingredients

Cherry Brownie Bites

1 – 10 ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained reserving 5 tablespoons of the syrup
8 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
1½ cups ground almonds
¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
Cherry Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows) or
1 cup whipped cream lightly sweetened with a tablespoon or two of reserved cherry syrup
48 maraschino cherries for decoration, drained and patted dry

Cherry Chocolate Ganache

4 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons reserved cherry syrup

Directions

Cherry Brownie Bites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Insert paper liners in 48 mini muffin cups.
Pat the cherries dry and chop them roughly. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a heat proof bowl in the microwave for 2 ½ – 3 minutes, stirring once or twice until the butter is fully melted and the chips are almost all melted. Stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Stir in the vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of the reserved maraschino cherry syrup and the sugar. Let cool slightly.

Beat in the eggs, ground almonds, salt and chopped cherries. Divide batter between the prepared muffin tins filling the tins almost full. A small ice cream scoop helps with this.

Bake for 10 – 14 minutes or until the tops are set and feel firmish to the touch but the insides are still soft. Do not over bake. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes then turn out to a wire rack to finish cooling.

If using chocolate ganache, spoon some ganache on top of the brownies, top each with a maraschino cherry and refrigerate for at least half an hour to firm the ganache. Can be made a day ahead.

If topping with cream, pipe or dollop on the whipped cream just before serving and top each brownie with a cherry.

Cherry Chocolate Ganache

Pour chocolate chips into a small heatproof bowl. Heat the cream and cherry syrup in a small pan over medium high heat until it just comes to a boil. Pour the hot milk mixture over the chocolate chips and let set for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth and glossy. Let set for about 10 – 15 minutes then spoon over the brownies.

Servings

Makes 48 gluten free Brownie Bites.

Need a quick meal?

Gluten Free Recipes - Simply Gluten Free Quick MealsSimply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals is now available, with over 100 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.

“The “Simply” in ‘Simply … Gluten-Free Quick Meals’ doesn’t just make for a catchy title. The recipes in this cookbook truly are quick and easy to prepare. – A. C.

“I set the timer on two separate nights and made two complete meals from Carol’s latest cookbook in 30-40 minutes. They not only pleased my family, but gave me new recipes and techniques to get dinner on the table faster every night.” – W. K.

“I love the way this book is laid out – full meals I can make in no time. Love the sense of fun and humor in this book but mostly I love all the gluten free recipes -.” – J. F.

Ready for dessert?

Simply...Gluten-Free DessertsSimply…Gluten-Free Desserts is now available, with over 135 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.

“I can now have recipes I know I can count on for every Dessert and Breakfast occasion! I’m thrilled!” – A. M.

“I am amazed! This recipe is BETTER than the ‘regular-with-gluten’ recipe! Thanks so much, Carol” – V. P.

“I love your gluten free recipes - I can now have my desserts.” – F.R.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. This blog accepts free manufacturers samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

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Categories:    Dessert
  • Anonymous

    Wow! So beautiful. I am definately making these! Sandy

  • Anonymous

    Wow, those look absolutely scrumptious. And they look sinful, but being gluten-free, they are sans-sin, so I can't wait to try them.
    Mike

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)

    Oh these are just delightful! Such beautiful photos too!

  • MICHAEL

    YUMMMMM!!!!! Looks good – what a simple treat.

  • gluten girl in austin (sarah)

    gorgeous photos. want to do my upcoming wedding?!? :)

  • Christine

    Scrumptious, tempting little bites – they're gorgeous. Your photos are outstanding.
    Thank you for you kind comment on my blog post. I truly appreciate it.

  • marla@familyfreshcooking.com

    What a sweet and very beautiful cupcake recipe. Yes, the cherries do add a bunch of cheer and pop of color. I too love being able to taste my almonds. Beautiful photos!

  • Anonymous

    Perfect little cherry bites……and you are rockin on that photography. These lttle guys looks delicious.
    ml
    jan

  • Aubree Cherie

    My favorite types of food are the ones that taste amazing (obviously) but that are also almost too good looking to actually eat. These would definitely fit in that category! :)

    YUM!

    ~Aubree Cherie

  • Sarah

    Yummy this is delish!

  • Tasty Eats At Home

    Ooh, these sound dangerously good!

  • Chelsey

    Ha! I remember when I was a little girl I vowed that when i grew up I would eat an entire jar of merishino cherries….I never ended up doing it, but thinking about it makes me smile! These little bites look amazing, btw. No doubt I would want to eat more than a swim suit portion. :)

  • Angie Moore

    Mmmmm… look yummy!

  • I Am Gluten Free

    Carol – these look great. Beautiful and delicious. How's the book coming?

    Ellen

  • The Gluten-free ‘Dish’

    Beautiful! Please eat a few for me!

  • Sarena Shasteen – The Non-Dairy Queen

    Those look amazing! I love baking with almond flour. What a great product!

  • The InTolerant Chef

    They sound wonderful. I love to develop and trial new recipes, how exciting!

  • The Short (dis)Order Cook

    Wow. These look decadent. I have been curious about making gluten-free brownies lately, so this answered a few questions. I'm wondering how fresh cherries would taste in these.

  • Carrie

    those are SO adorable!! You're just so awesomely creative!! :-)

  • Anonymous

    Made em……awesome recipe Carol!! It's the 5th recipe of yours that I have made. Had to hide them from the kids!!
    Thanks! Randy

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