It’s not very often that I get to make a recipe just for “the fun of it” (because usually, my goal is that that whole “eating to survive” business) but last Friday I asked the crew of our weekly game night what type of dessert they would like me to bring.
Cheery pie, brownies, and cheesecake.
In that order.
A first I was sold on making a cherry pie – because believe it or not, I’ve actually never made one before – but then I got to thinking about who I was dealing with here. This is a group I play competitive games with every week, from Dungeons and Dragons to Catan to Shadows Over Camelot, and not only did they snap back with their dessert requests, but they made it a tall order to fill. So could I really answer them with just a
So could I really answer them with just a single dish? Or a dish that only met one of the requirements? That’d be too easy, especially when the current challenge laid out before me.
That’d be too easy, especially when the current challenge laid out before me.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m rarely competitive, but when the opportunity arises, I will do everything I can to dominate.
I’m sure all my fellow gamers out there understand where I’m coming from.
So when I showed up on Friday, this is what I had with me: ultimate brownies laced with cheesecake and cherry pie filling. I got all three of their requests wrapped up in one. single. dessert.
And yeah, I totally nailed it.
And I won the game that night.
To make these bars of deliciousness I used my absolute favorite brownie recipe, which bakes with a ever-so-slightly crispy shell and a soft center.
Add in the soft cheesecake and gooey cherry pie filling and it amplified the soft center effect tenfold (and in all the best ways). The end result was also very rich and sweet, making it easy to feed a house full of people and still leave me a bit to take home with me.
Because really, that’s what I’m hoping for when I offer to bring dessert: I want to bake it, bring it, then have you eat just a teeny tiny bit of it so I still have plenty to take home with me because then I have something to snack on while I binge watch Netflix.
… Which is exactly how I spent my Saturday, basking in the glow of my Friday night win.
It’s also why recipe will probably always remind me of season 3 of Parenthood.
More great recipes with cherries
Cherry Cheesecake Brownies
For the Ultimate Brownies
- Add the unsweetened chocolate, semi sweet chocolate, and butter to a microwave safe bowl. Heat bowl in the microwave for 1 minute, then stir generously (30 seconds - 1 minute). Continue to heat for 30 second increments until chocolate is smooth. Be careful not to burn chocolate.
- Set chocolate aside and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Dropping mixer speed to low, slowly pour cooled chocolate in with egg mixture and blend until combined.
- Finish by slowly blending in flour and salt. Careful not to overmix - stop as soon as there is no longer any visible white or large clumps in the batter.
- Set bowl aside while preparing the cream cheese.
For the Cheesecake
- Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + large bowl), beat together cream cheese, egg, vanilla, and sugar on medium high speed until combined, about 2-3 minutes.
- Set bowl aside until ready to add to baking dish.
Putting it All Together
Pour 1/2 of the brownie mix along the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Use a spatula to spread evenly to the corners.
- Pour the cheesecake mix on top of the brownie layer. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon so the cheesecake completely covers the chocolate.
- Spoon cheery pie filling on top of cream cheese. There won't be enough to completely cover, so just add evenly.
- Using large spoonfuls, add the remaining brownie batter on top of the cherries and cheesecake. The brownie mix won't fully cover the top layer - that is okay. I focused on filling in the sides and the center, then gently pulled the sections of brownie mix toward each other as best as I could. Once finished, you can also run a knife or spatula through the mix to create more decoration on the surface.
- Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out completely clean.
- Let brownies cool completely, then store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.