When Valentine’s Day comes around, I think of chocolate and cherries. So when I found this recipe at BettyCrocker.com, I thought it would be the perfect thing to make! The recipe I’m sharing here is a little different, because I made homemade brownies (adapted from the Hershey recipe) instead of using a mix. It really doesn’t take that much longer to do. And I topped these cherry-swirled brownies with a layer of dark chocolate–it never hurts to add more chocolate to a recipe! :)
I had some friends sample these and they all loved them and commented on how rich and chocolatey they were. They really are pretty decadent…definitely worthy to make for your Valentine, or for dessert any time of the year!
The cherry cream cheese filling has a mild cherry flavor, which everyone liked, but if you’d like the cherry flavor to be stronger, add a little cherry flavoring or extract, or some extra maraschino cherry juice and cherries (I’ve noted that in the recipe below).
DARK CHOCOLATE–COVERED CHERRY SWIRL BROWNIES by NancyCreative, adapted from Betty Crocker and Hershey’s
Make in an 11 x 7″ brownie pan
For the brownies:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Hershey’s unsweetened baking cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For cherry cream cheese mixture:
- 1 (8-ounce) package light or regular cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped well-drained maraschino cherries
- 1 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
- optional: 1/4 teaspoon cherry flavoring or extract, or some extra chopped maraschino cherries, for a stronger cherry flavor
- 1 egg
For dark chocolate layer:
- 1 (10-ounce) package dark chocolate chips
- 5 Tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease an 11 x 7″ brownie pan (or a 9″ square baking pan if you don’t have a brownie pan); set aside.
Brownies: Stir together melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl. Add eggs and beat well with a spoon. In another medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended; set aside (this batter is pretty thick, FYI).
Cream Cheese Mixture: In medium bowl, beat softened cream cheese, sugar, cherries, cherry juice, and egg with a spoon; set aside.
Spread half the brownie batter in the baking pan. Spread cream cheese mixture over batter. Drop small dollops of remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese mixture, spread slightly with the back of a spoon, and then swirl cream cheese mixture and brownie batter with a knife.
Bake at 350˚F in an 11 x 7″ pan for 30-34 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. If you bake this in a 9 x 9″ pan, your baking time might be a little longer. Let cool 30 to 40 minutes.
When brownies have cooled, top with dark chocolate layer: In microwaveable bowl, heat chocolate chips and butter, uncovered on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until smooth. Spread over brownies. Refrigerate 40 to 50 minutes or until layer sets more, then cut into squares and serve (the dark chocolate layer may not be totally set, but you’ll still be able to cut the brownies into squares). Store covered in refrigerator…
…that is, if you happen to have any left! :)
Have you made, or do you plan on making, any special Valentine treats?