Chocolate Cherry Merlot Brownies
1 1/4 cups (6-oz. pkg.) dried sweet cherries, chopped
1/2 cup merlot wine
1 bar (8 oz.) NESTLÉ CHOCOLATIER™ 53% Cacao Dark Chocolate Baking Bar, broken into small sections
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Grease 9-inch-square baking pan.
MICROWAVE dried cherries and merlot wine in small, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute. Set aside for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain cherries; discard wine.
MICROWAVE chocolate in small, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; STIR. Sections may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until smooth; cool to room temperature.
COMBINE flour and salt in small bowl. Beat sugar and butter in medium mixer bowl until well mixed. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Stir in drained cherries. Spread into prepared pan.
BAKE for 33 to 37 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.