So I thought I was a complete genius.
I’ve been thinking about Valentine’s Day lately, and my mind (or is it my stomach?) has been drawn to everything chocolate and red fruit.
Chocolate and strawberry.
Chocolate and raspberry.
Chocolate and cherry.
So I’ve been dreaming up things to make with all of these combinations, and Black Forest is one of my favorite dessert flavors (that is, as in the cake, and not the ham — I’m not quite that adventurous).
Cherry cheesecake was absolutely my favorite growing up, but that might be because it was really the only kind of cheesecake my mom made. No-bake Cherry Cheesecake.
I ate a lot of cheesecake in my University days.
When we lived in the city while I attended, we had a weekly… “tradition”, if you will, with friends of ours: the guys went for wings and the girls went for cheesecake.
Kind of the best tradition ever.
Now that we have kids and don’t live in the city anymore, we don’t eat nearly as much cheesecake.
I know, it’s pretty sad.
And it’s not like I can’t make my own cheesecake and eat the whole thing myself, it’s just that I probably shouldn’t.
Anyway. How was that for a tangent or five?
So I was thinking of my love for Black Forest desserts and cherry cheesecake and thought I had better start experimenting with some Black Forest Cheesecake Brownies for Valentine’s Day.
I go to Pinterest — the expert in all things over-the-top desserts — and type in “Black Forest Cheesecake Brownies”.
I get nothing that really looks like what I’m thinking.
I give myself a pat on the back for being such a smart and creative person. I make my brownies.
I go back to Pinterest. Type in “Cherry Cheesecake Brownies”.
Turns out, there are lots of really smart, creative people who have done pretty much the exact same thing. And I eat a whole pan of brownies to console myself.
Luckily though, my good friend and cheesecake-eating partner was out for a visit that day, so I had someone to share them with.
But I couldn’t keep them from you, just because they’re not totally original. They are still incredibly tasty, and fudgy, with gooey cherries and creamy cheesecake. And they’re perfect for that Valentine of yours or, hey, I won’t judge if you make a pan and eat half of it in the same day. All by yourself.
- 1 cup butter, melted, cooled slightly
- 2½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour (or sub all-purpose)
- 1 cup cocoa
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 8oz package cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ can cherry pie filling
- Line a 9x13" pan with tin foil and spray with cooking spray -- this makes for easy clean up. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter and sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs and whisk until combined.
- Add flour, cocoa and salt and stir until combined. Batter will be thick.
- Spread half (or just over half) of the batter into the bottom of the pan.
- With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, egg, vanilla and sugar until smooth (it might be thin -- that's okay).
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over the brownie batter. Top with spoonfuls of cherry pie filling (*I didn't want to add so much pie filling that the center would be too gooey and not set up nicely -- see the photo below to see the ratio I used).
- Drop spoonfuls of remaining brownie batter on top of the pie filling. You won't be able to spread the brownie batter, you will just try to cover a good amount (but certainly all) of the filling with the batter. Smooth out the batter somewhat or try to swirl as desired, or just leave it alone!
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, until center appears set. Note that your brownies might still have a little jiggle to them -- this is because of all of that gooey deliciousness below. I baked mine for 35 minutes in a dark non-stick pan.
- Let cool to room temperature before cutting. They will cut more easily if refrigerated for a few hours, but I couldn't wait, so I didn't!
Adapted from this brownie recipe: