Over the seven years since I started writing this column, my family has gotten very used to being guinea pigs for new recipes.
So much so, that when I showed up with a dish of still-warm brownies for a board game night with my sister and brother-in-law last weekend, my sister looked at me and said, “I’m going to get quoted about this, aren’t I?”
I just shrugged, but yes, Sis, you are.
As I often do when summer rolls around, I bought a big bag of fresh cherries last week, and these brownies seemed like the perfect candidate to include them. I also might have spent some time sampling cherries while I baked, too. Job hazards.
My sister said she generally hates the taste of cherries and chocolate together (she might be adopted), but she gave two thumbs up for the new recipe.
I found this one by Lauren Miyashiro on the website “Delish.” You can find the original at https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a48932/cherry-garcia-brownies-recipe/. I doubled the vanilla, added more cherries and specified a dark chocolate brownie mix in my version.
Cherry Garcia Brownies
- 1 box dark chocolate brownie mix plus ingredients it calls for
- 8 ounces cream cheese slightly softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup pitted and quartered fresh cherries
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare an 8-by-8-inch baking pan by spraying it with cooking spray.
- Prepare the brownie mix according to package instructions and dump into the prepared pan. Set it aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, vanilla, egg and sugar until it’s light and fluffy (mine actually ended up mostly soupy, which works, too. Just make sure it’s well combined).
- Stir in the cherries and chocolate chips and dump the cream cheese mixture over the brownie mix in the pan. Swirl the mixture with a knife to get some of the cream cheese layer into the brownies.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted down into the brownie layer comes up clean (mine took a bit longer than 45 minutes) and the cheesecake layer on top is set up.
- Let the brownies cool a bit before slicing. I stored mine in an airtight container in the fridge.
I would recommend cutting these on the smaller side, because they’re a bit rich. The top is creamy, and the bottom is dense and chewy. And then there’s a little layer in the middle between the cheesecake and the brownie layer that’s perfectly gooey.
We had a great time playing games and eating brownies together, and we all decided the recipe was a winner, which was the only winning I did all night.
Maybe next time we get together I can earn some victories with the board games in addition to the kitchen.
This piece first appeared in print on June 13, 2019.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.