Cherry Ripe Brownies

It's funny how tastes and flavors of your childhood come back to you and you just crave them. Cherry Ripe bars are one of my childhood favorites.  Growing up in Papua New Guinea, Australian treats were what filled the small grocery store.  These coconut and cherry chocolate bars aren't easy to find in the States.  I'll admit that I ordered some on Amazon for a very pretty penny.  But, oh boy was it worth it.  And now I've been playing around with recipes, trying to recreate this candy bar in my kitchen

We have suffered through a couple batches of brownies, trying to get the recipe (well, technically our waist lines have suffered). These brownies are pretty much spot on for Cherry Ripe flavor.  And since Valentine's day is quickly approaching, I decided to cut these into cute heart shapes.  

Cherry Ripe Brownies
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa
1/2 cup butter
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour

2 cups of sweetened shredded coconut (a 7 oz. bag)
1 8oz. jar of maraschino cherries (drained and stems removed)
1 egg

dark chocolate for drizzling

In a medium sized pan, melt the butter over medium high heat.  Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the sugar and cocoa well.  In another bowl, beat the eggs and then add them to the butter, sugar and cocoa mixture.  When the eggs are mixed in well, add the vanilla and the flour and stir until the batter is smooth.

In a food processor or blender, chop up the cherries finely.  Add the coconut and egg and pulse to combine all the ingredients.

Pour the batter into a greased 9X13" pan.  Spoon the coconut cherry mixer evenly over the top of the brownie batter.  Spread with a knife to get a even layer (it won't be perfect, don't worry). Bake at 325F for about 25-30 mins, or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Allow the brownies to cool.  Cut into squares or cut out with a heart shaped cookie cutter like I did.  Melt the dark chocolate and drizzle over the brownies.  I poured the melted chocolate into a small ziploc bag and then just cut one corner off to make a little piping bag.  

Cheers to all my Aussie friends, thanks for the yummy inspiration.  I think you guys are really going to like this recipe. 

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