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 and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.