Thursday, July 28, 2011
Everyone has a few recipes that are their favourite 'tried and true' signature dishes. You know what I'm talking about. The recipes that you can almost make by heart. The recipes that are much loved, much used and get rave reviews everytime.
One of my favourite dessert recipes is my Black Forest Brownies. It's one of those desserts that's easy to make but really impresses at the same time. Win-win! Plus, it doesn't hurt that Black Forest Cake is my favourite cake in the whole world! Black Forest Cake is delicious but these brownies give you the same flavours ... with a lot less work.
I whipped up a batch of these bad boys yesterday in order to celebrate Brad and 10 year old Karate Guy's birthdays. FYI: My family is currently smack dab in the middle of birthday season. From July to October all 5 of us have our birthdays to celebrate so it's a really busy time. The par-tay never ends around here!! Brad and Karate Guy's birthdays are 2 days apart (Cub and I are two days apart in October and Missy Moo holds down the birthday fort in September) so our celebrations tend to be really close together.
This causes Cake Overload which is why this recipe comes in handy! I know what you're thinking - "There's not much difference between chocolate cake and brownies, Laurie!" But you're wrong. There IS a big difference. Brownies are chewy (or, at least in my world, they have to be) and are so good they don't require icing to sweeten them up. To me, cake just seems too sweet but a brownie is just right. I don't even try to understand the enigma which is my stomach, I just go with the flow.
I've been using this recipe since I was a tween! Waaay back when the earth was still cooling I was making this dessert for my loved ones. It's actually a combination of two different recipes. The brownie recipe came from a cookbook I got as a child called "Let Me in the Kitchen" by Susan Mendelson -- which I adore but is unfortunately out of print now. These are hands down my favourite brownies! Chewy and rich without being too sweet. I'm picky, what can I say.
The topping combines a layer of sweetened cream cheese which is then topped with cherry pie filling. Oh ya baby! These are soooo good. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Black Forest Brownies
Yield: 12 servings
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup walnut pieces (optional)
1/3 cup whipping cream, whipped
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 can cherry pie filling
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease only the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside. (FYI: greasing the sides can make it difficult for the rising brownie to grab hold of the sides of the dish as it bakes resulting in thinner, denser brownies).
Melt butter. Add white sugar, brown sugar and cocoa to the melted butter. Blend well.
Break eggs into a small bowl and beat with a fork. Add to the sugar/butter mixture and mix well.
Add flour, baking powder, vanilla and walnut pieces (if using). Mix until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the brownies comes out clean. Cool completely.
Chill a medium bowl and beaters from your electric mixer in the fridge. Pour whipping cream into the chilled bowl and beat with chilled beaters until soft peaks form.
In a medium bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled brownies. Top with cherry pie filling. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
Drizzle melted chocolate over dessert before serving (if desired). Keep leftovers (if there are any) in the fridge.
Brownie Recipe by: "Let Me in the Kitchen" by Susan Mendelson (pg 69)
Topping Recipe by: E.D Smith pie filling