“Cherry chocolate rain. Pull me in with that delicious stare”. Do you remember that hilarious episode of The Office was when Michael Scott mentions the time he discovered YouTube and viewed Cookie Monster singing Chocolate Rain about a thousand times? Lol I can’t even! I sing this song whenever I think of cherry and chocolate together. Like while eating a chocolate chip cookie paired with an ice cold Dr. Pepper, or drinking a Black Forest milkshake. If you are a fan of these cherry-almond/chocolate combinations, this is going to be a fiesta in your boca (mouth).
These brownies are similar to my Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies, but with a few modifications. Brownies are done a million times, a million different ways and claim to all be the best. But brownies are subjective and they are all good in their own ways. These brownies are sort of the best of both worlds. They are cakey and fluffy while still being thick and chewy. To me, they are the perfect brownie. And with the added Bordeaux cherries and almond extract, it takes it to the next level. You will be so happy, I promise.
Did I even mention the best part? It’s a mixer-free recipe! It can all be done by hand without the need to use a saucepan or anything. So big bonus – all the flavor with minimal cleanup work. Of course the decorating can make things a tiny bit messy if you are a natural mess-maker like myself. But it’s always worth it❣
3/4 cups stemless cherries, chopped (I used a jar of Bordeaux cherries. Marischino, dried, or fresh cherries will also work)
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Valentine Heart Brownies
Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x8 or 9x13 baking dish or line with parchment paper (choose pan size based on how thick you want the brownies to be).
In large bowl, mix together melted butter, oil, sugars. Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract and mix well, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as you go.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, stirring carefully until just mixed. Be careful not to over-mix. Fold in the cherries and 3/4 of the chocolate chunks.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, spreading evenly. Then top with final chocolate chunks, pressing them into the batter slightly.
Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place the pan onto cooling rack.
While the brownies are cooling, prepare the chocolate topping. Cream together all frosting ingredients (butter, cocoa, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla). Mix well until smooth and creamy, adding a touch more milk or powdered sugar as needed.
Once the brownies have fully cooled, use a heart cookie cutter to create heart shaped brownies. Place the brownies onto a sheet of parchment paper. Using a piping bag with a star tip, pipe a diagonal design on top of the brownies and place a few heart sprinkles. They can be stored in an airtight container for a few days or up to a week in the fridge.