Black Forest Brownies

14 Feb

Valentine’s Day is here!  And what better way to celebrate than whipping up a special dessert for your loved ones?  Brownies are definitely one of my favorite desserts, and I thought, what could be better than Black Forest Cake?  Um, Black Forest brownies!  I love the cherry-chocolate combination, especially with the topping of a light cream cheese frosting.   I made up this recipe totally on a whim, not knowing how it would turn out, but Matt actually said this might be one of his favorite desserts ever.  That’s pretty monumental, and I’m pumped that they turned out so well!

Traditionally Black Forest cake is made with a whipped cream topping, so I wanted to combine that with a little bit of cream cheese frosting, and the result was DIVINE.  Like, probably this will be the cream cheese icing recipe I default on, because it had the lovely cream cheese flavor, without being so overly sweet and heavy.  It was light and delicious.

I like to cut the brownies and then spread the icing on, so I can do them “to order”.  If serving immediately for a crowd, feel free to spread them all and then cut them (though they may not turn out as clean looking).   I thought that they might get soggy if I frosted them all in advance and then didn’t eat them right away.  I just kept the frosting in a bowl in the refrigerator and spread it on a brownie as they are ready to be eaten.  Also, I like to store these brownies in the refrigerator because I thought they tasted better, and firmed up a little more, when kept chilled.

Black Forest Brownies

Time: 30 min. plus baking time  Yield: 16 brownies

  • 1 box brownie mix (I recommend Ghirardelli), plus eggs, oil and water for the mix
  • Chocolate chips (to add to the batter, if desired)
  • 2 cans cherry pie filling (16 ounces each) – I used Polar brand, which I had never heard of, but I liked that this brand did not contain high fructose corn syrup, just cherries and sugar, etc.
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Chocolate shavings to garnish, if desired ;-)

Strain one can of the cherry pie filling to remove most of the liquid filling.  No need to rinse, just remove as much as possible so as to mix just the cherries into the brownie mix.

Prepare the brownies according to the package directions, stirring in the cherries from 1 can and chocolate chips (if desired)  immediately before pouring into a parchment-lined 9×9 baking pan. (Parchment lining allows you to remove the brownies from the pan as one unit, then you can cut them more easily on a cutting board).

Bake according to package directions.  Mine took slightly longer than the package instructions, possibly due to the increased moisture from the cherries.  So, you may want to extend the bake time by a few minutes if you notice they seem too wet when the time is up.  After baking, let the brownies cool completely in the pan.

Meanwhile, make the frosting.  In one bowl, whip the heavy cream with an electric mixer until it forms stiff peaks (when you pull the mixer out, the peaks on the mixer should stand up without flopping over).   In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until combined.  Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Once brownies are cooled, cut into portions, then spread each with cream cheese topping.  Top each with some cherry pie filling, if desired.

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2 Responses to “Black Forest Brownies”

  1. Jennifer Cassidy February 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Yum! Cannot wait to try :) I made Red Velvet cupcakes today- you would be proud ;)

  2. Linda December 3, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Made these at Thanksgiving and they disappeared fast! Yummy! Thanks for sharing.

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