After Memorial Day we have semi-officially entered summer. While we await the summer solstice (June 21), we gear up for our gardens, begin planning outings, and shed our long sleeves at every opportunity.
If you’re out and about, you may still see some cherries in bloom. Cherries are coming, and they’re just as delicious as they are pretty. As compared to winter’s beauty, which is often simple, crisp, sharp, and full of clarity, summer’s beauty is warm and colorful and somewhat muted. The angle of the sun, the temperatures, and the growing cycles of each season present such different perspectives of beauty; each reflecting the abundant variety of life. As we move into summer, now is the time to consider its gifts. There is color. There is growth. There is warmth. There is flavor. This post is my ode to the beauty and possibility of summer…let the collage of summer begin!
READY IN: 30 mins SERVES: 10 YIELD: 10 8 oz. glasses
- 2 quarts water
- 1 lb fresh black cherries (try other sweet cherries for a different taste experience), rinsed and pitted
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 whole star anise
- 5 black tea bags, steeped in
- 2 cups water
- mint sprig (to garnish)
Bring water to boil in a medium-sized pot. Add cherries, sugar, lemon juice, and star anise. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cherries are almost falling apart. Turn off heat, mix in black tea, and let stand for 1 hour to cool. Strain liquid through a fine mesh sieve, mashing the cherries with a wooden spoon to extract more liquid. Discard solids. Transfer liquid to a pitcher and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- 3 Tbsp. coconut oil
- ¼ c cocoa powder
- ½ c raw ground nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, or peanut butter)
- ¾ c unsweetened shredded organic coconut
- 1 Tbsp. honey (optional, add more to taste)
- parchment paper
Melt honey and coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Once combined, add cocoa, ground-up nuts (or nut butter) and coconut, and mix together. Pour mixture into small baking sheet or square pan covered in parchment paper. Refrigerate until hard, cut into bars.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ tsp salt (opt)
- ¾ - 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup cherries (we cut them in half to de-pit them)
Preheat oven to 350°. Line 8 x 8 pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside. Melt butter, in microwave about 60 seconds. To the melted butter, add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Add the egg, vanilla and stir to combine. Add the flour, salt and stir until just mixed, taking care not to over mix or brownies with turn out tough. Fold in chocolate chips, cherries, and pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly over top.
Bake for 27-32 minutes or until the edges pull slightly away from sides of pan and center sets. Baking time will vary depending on type of cherries used, whether they are fresh or frozen, and whether or not you like your blondies gooey or set. Toothpick might not come out clean either way because of chocolate and cherries. These brownies can be stored in airtight container at room temperature or in fridge for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.
Recipe sourced from Averiecooks