1 cup/250 mL (2 sticks) butter, softened
1-1/2 cups/375 mL brown sugar
1 tbsp/15 mL Watkins Imitation Cherry Extract
2 cups/500 mL flour
3/4 cup/180 mL cocoa powder
1-1/4 tsp/6 mL baking soda
1/2 tsp/2.5 mL salt
1 cup/250 mL strong black coffee, room temperature (or 1 cup/250 mL water & 1 tbsp/15 mL Espresso powder)
2 cups/500 mL halved Maraschino cherries, patted dry
2 cups/500 mL semi-sweet chocolate chips
Beat butter and brown sugar 3 minutes on high in large bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egs, one at a time, and extract until well combined. Stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. On low, beat half of dry mixture into butter mixture until blended; slowly add coffee; beat until blended. Add remaining flour mixture until well blended. Stir in cherries and chips. Spread in greased and floured (or use no-stick spray with flour) 12-cup/2.8 L fluted tube pan. Bake in 350°F/180°C oven 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes; invert on wire rack to cool completely before cutting.
Delicious as a snacking cake or top with your favorite glaze. Makes 12 to 16 servings.