If making your own Cherry Topping or Pie Filling
, prepare and set aside to cool. When measuring, try to get mostly cherries and not too much of the syrup part.
Preheat oven to 350 °F.
Prepare an 8" round pan by lightly greasing bottom, fitting with a parchment round and lightly greasing parchment. The parchment is optional, but highly recommended if you want to remove the brownie from the pan to decorate and serve. To cut a parchment round to fit pan, take a piece of parchment larger than the pan. Fold in half, then into quarters. Fold two more times by bringing the folded edges together forming somewhat of a triangle. Hold the tip at the center of the pan and snip or tear across the unfolded edge at the edge of the pan. Open up the piece which should be reasonably round and fit your pan.
In a medium bowl, combine cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk together well making sure there are no lumps of cocoa.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt margarine, butter, shortening or oil. Add brown sugar and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Add 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips and stir until they are melted. Allow to cool for 5 min.
Stir in applesauce until well combined. Add dry ingredients and stir to combine. When almost all the dry goods are incorporated, add remaining chocolate chips and finish stirring to combine. Do not overmix. Add cherries and fold to combine.
Scrape batter into prepared pan making sure to get all that chocolaty goodness out of there. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly in the pan.
Bake at 350 °F for 18 to 20 minutes or until it tests done. Remove from oven to a cooling rack. If removing from the pan to serve, allow to cool for at least 20 minutes in pan. Run a knife around the edge and invert pan onto a plate or cooling rack. Remove parchment. Invert brownie again to be right side up onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
To serve, this can be simple and casual or dressed to the nines. For a simple presentation, dust with powdered sugar and cut into wedges to serve. Optionally, top each slice with additional cherry pie filling and/or whipped topping.
For a more formal presentation, use whipped topping, whipped cream or http://kidswithfoodallergies.org/recipes/showrecipe.php?id=886 Whipped Cream Frosting to pipe a border of rosettes or a large shell border. Fill center with cherry topping. Dust with powdered sugar mixed with a little cocoa or top with chocolate curls.
An undecorated brownie can be stored at room temperature, but if decorated, keep any unused portion (if there is any!) refrigerated.