Rich, super fudgy dark chocolate brownies are topped with a sweet maraschino cherry buttercream frosting that tastes just like the filling of a chocolate covered cherry!
Who else loves chocolate covered cherries? Specifically, dark chocolate covered cherries. I have a hard time finding ones that aren't terribly quality, so I'd prefer to make my own. However… it's kind of a pain in the ass. A delicious pain in the ass, but pain in the ass nonetheless. Instead, I'd prefer to make something with a flavor reminiscent of them.
Enter these small batch chocolate covered cherry brownies.
This recipe certainly does not have to be for Valentine's Day, but you can't deny that it's perfect for it. It's rich, fudgy, and sweet, and red and pink (which is basically a prerequisite for Valentine's Day treats).
I'm calling these “small batch” because you make them in a loaf pan and end up with 8-15 bars. Pro tip, though: because they are so sweet, I highly recommend cutting it into 15 squares. Eight squares may be more than your sweet tooth can handle (but hey, I'm not here to tell you how to live your life).
So really, you have 15 squares which is hardly a small amount of brownies – that's why I didn't call these “Chocolate Covered Cherry Brownies for Two” because that's just insane. Maybe “Chocolate Covered Cherry Brownies for Two Over the Course of Two Weeks”, maybe.
I recently received feedback from a reader that they really struggle with knowing what the batter (or frosting, or dough, etc.) texture should be during different stages of a recipe's creation, and that it would really helpful if I included more photos of the step by step to help them know if they're on the right track.
Ask and you shall receive, my friend! I can't promise that I'll always remember to include them, but I'll certainly try my best.
So, to get to this:
You want to start with this:
This is how things will start out with your butter and sugars. Grainy, but combined, and pulling away from the bowl when you pull the whisk through.
Once you've added your egg, vanilla, cocoa powder, flour and salt, you'll end up with a nice, thick batter like this:
Don't freak out if it seems like it's taking a long time to combine – it's a labor of love, and it will come together eventually. Totally worth the wait.
Once baked, you're going to get this gorgeous shiny, crackly topped brownie. Try really hard not to just pick it up and eat it like it's one giant brownie. ‘Cause I mean, at this point it is one giant brownie, but it is most definitely not one serving. Although I guess anything is single serving if you really believe in yourself.
Now let's talk about the frosting. Oh man, this frosting. It's made with the addition of maraschino cherry juice and almond extract because it really gives you that flavor of the inside of a chocolate covered cherry. I love it so much.
You're might not have a not-quite-smooth frosting when this is done. Don't freak out. If it's not silky smooth, that's totally okay. There's something about the amount of cherry juice that can give it a slightly different consistency, but it's seriously completely okay. You're covering it with chopped cherries and a dark chocolate drizzle anyway, and it tastes ridiculously good so I seriously doubt anyone is going to care. I prefer to have a stronger cherry flavor in lieu of silky perfection.
So, to recap:
- Rich, super fudgy dark chocolate brownies.
- Sweet, creamy cherry frosting.
- Valentine's Day personified.
Make them for Valentine's Day.
Or Galentine's Day.
Or for a random Tuesday.
And remember: Don't let the social unacceptance of walking around eating a 9″x5″ frosted brownie hold you back from reaching your dreams.
Chocolate Covered Cherry Brownies (Small Batch)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9"x5" pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large microwave safe bowl, combine butter and light brown sugar and microwave in 30 second increments, whisking after each. Repeat this process until you have a grainy, but combined mixture. Let cool for at least five minutes.5 tablespoons unsalted butter1 1/4 cups (275 g) light brown sugar
- Add eggs and vanilla and whisk to combine.2 eggs1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Add cocoa powder, flour and salt and whisk until just combined. It may take a bit and seem like it's not even going to become batter, but it will!3/4 cup (64 ½ g) unsweetened or Special Dark cocoa powder1/3 cup (41 ⅔ g) all purpose flour1/2 teaspoon (½ teaspoon) salt
- Fold in chocolate chips.1/3-1/2 cup (60 g) chocolate chips
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then move to wire rack to cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to beat butter until fluffy.1/4 cup (56 ¾ g) unsalted butter
- Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and beat on high speed to combine.1 to 2 cups (120 g) confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
- Add cherry juice and almond extract, and beat again to combine.2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice1/2 teaspoon (½ teaspoon) almond extract
- Add the remaining powdered sugar (to taste) and beat on high speed to stiff peaks. Don't worry if it seems grainy, it's not going to be completely smooth.1 to 2 cups (120 g) confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
- Frost cooled brownies and top with sliced maraschino cherries. Drizzle with melted chocolate, slice and enjoy!8 maraschino cherries2 tablespoons dark chocolate
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