Manhattan Cocktail Brownies

Susan Palmer | Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
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Manhattan cocktail brownies are here for your happy hour. Who can resist chocolate, cherries, and bourbon?!

Manhattan Cocktail Brownies Photo

A couple of weeks ago I found myself in Chicago thanks to one of my freelance clients and the annual Home and Housewares Show. This show — not open to the public — takes place every year in Chicago, shows off new and innovative products in the housewares marketplace. As a housewares lover, I wanted to go to the show for years and lining it up with work seemed like an added bonus.

Attending any trade show can be fun, but also exhausting. There’s long days on your feet, speaking to numerous people and in my case providing in the moment social media access with Facebook live and Instagram stories.

At the end of the day all I really wanted to do was go back to my hotel and sleep but I was in Chicago(!); how could I resist the opportunity for new eating experiences? So I dragged myself back out for just a few hours of walking around to find a good meal and a good drink or two.

Manhattan Cocktail Brownies Picture

During those nightly excursions I learned a little something about myself: as much as I like trying new and exciting cocktails, at the end of the day I always go for a classic cocktail. Usually an old fashioned or sometimes a Manhattan. Consider it my safety blanket; I know what to expect each and every time and I know I’ll always like it.

Manhattan Cocktail Brownies Image

Then it dawned on me: I loved classic cocktails, I love boozy baking, it’s time to combine the two together. I also keep a list of recipe ideas in a notebook and for a while I’ve had an assortment of cocktail desserts written down but never tackled. No more!

Manhattan Cocktail Brownies Pic

What better way to kick it all off than with a rich, fudgy, deep dark chocolatey brownie that also happens to double as a Manhattan cocktail? I won’t lie, this brownie has a kick to it and it’s layered with each component of the Manhattan one-by-one with a little added bonus tossed in.

File 1 Manhattan Cocktail Brownies

These brownies start with our bonus of a cherry liqueur mixed into the batter and baked, then while still piping hot the brownies are brushed with sweet vermouth, topped with a bourbon-infused chocolate ganache and finished a cherry on top. Can you think of anything better? Serve it with a Manhattan on the side and your night is set. 

Manhattan Cocktail Brownies Recipe

    16 Servings

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Semisweet Chocolate, or dark chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 3/4 cup Organic Cane Sugar
  • 3 Eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Cherry Liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon Sweet Vermouth
For the Ganache:
  • 1 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips, or dark chocolate chips
  • 8 ounces Heavy Cream
  • 2 ounces Bourbon
  • Luxardo Cherries, or maraschino cherries, to finish

Directions

  1. Heat your oven to 350°F and line a 9x9 square pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter until smooth.
  3. Remove from the heat and then whisk in the cocoa powder, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth.
  4. Mix in the flour and salt with a spoon and then the cherry liqueur.
  5. Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the brownies have a nice shiny crust.
  6. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then using a skewer poke holes all over the brownies and brush the sweet vermouth onto the brownies.
  7. Let cool completely.
  8. While the brownies are cooling prepare the chocolate ganache.
  9. Place the chocolate chips in a heat proof boil and bring the heavy cream to simmer in a small saucepan. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips, let sit for about 30 seconds and stir until completely melted. Stir in the bourbon and let sit at room temperature to cool for about 30-45 minutes. While the ganache cools it will thicken up to a spreadable consistency.
  10. Once both the ganache and brownies are cool, spread the ganache over the brownies. You can either do it will still in the pan or remove the brownies from the pan by lifting up the parchment paper.
  11. Cut the brownies into 16 servings and top each square with a cherry.
  12. Store brownies, covered at room temperature for about 2-3 days. 

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Susan Palmer

About Susan

Susan bakes up delicious treats as the Girl in the Little Red Kitchen at home in Brooklyn. She's joined Food Fanatic as a Cocktails and Boozy Desserts Fanatic, and we could not be more excited!