Chocolate Cherry Chocolate Chunk Fudgy Brownies

I’ve never cared for chocolate-covered cherries. The creamy, squishy filling just ruins them for me.

But chocolate and cherries are a wonderful pairing, and that’s where these brownies come in.

Chunky cherry jam is swirled into dark, rich, fudgy brownies, and they’re topped with dark chocolate chunks.

Tons of bold chocolate flavor, along with sweet cherry jam, with no white goop in sight. Score.

For the brownie base, I used an old standby recipe that delivers consistently fudgy results, minus any fuss. They’re as fast and easy as using a boxed mix, and the batter is whisked together in one bowl in minutes.

They’re not at all cakey, which would be a total deal-breaker. I want my brownies dense like a slab of fudge. Cakes are for birthdays, but don’t belong in my brownies.

The irony of these ultra-fudgy brownies is that the recipe uses cocoa powder, not melted chocolate. I used to think that cocoa powder brownies were inferior to brownies made with (more expensive) melted chocolate, but I’ve been proven wrong.

The jam also adds to the overall density and fudginess since it weighs down the batter and adds moisture.

Make sure not to overbake them so they stay moist and fudgy. The jam doesn’t fully set up, and the chocolate chunks will be melty and runny, so make sure to examine the brownie portion, not the jam or chocolate chunks, when doing the toothpick test.

In the past, I’ve made the mistake of thinking my brownies weren’t done when I saw runny chocolate on the toothpick, thereby overcooking them.

Letting them cool properly gives the jam and chocolate chunks a chance to firm up and solidify, and the longer you can wait before digging in, the better.

I cooled them for a couple hours on the counter before refrigerating them. I prefer desserts this chocolaty to be served chilled.

The brownies are moist, soft, and very chocolaty, without being overly sweet.

The dark chocolate chunks add bold chocolate intensity, and there’s a splash of coffee and some espresso granules added to the batter (optional but recommended). They don’t make the brownies taste like coffee, but instead intensify and round out the chocolate flavor.

You could wash them down with a glass of milk, a cup of coffee, or with merlot or cabernet.

I prefer the later.

Chocolate Cherry Chocolate Chunk Fudgy Brownies

Chocolate and cherries are a great pairing, and these dense, rich, fudgy brownies are swirled with cherry jam and sprinkled with chocolate chunks. The brownies are moist, soft, and very chocolaty, without being overly sweet. They’re as fast and easy as a boxed mix, and the brownie batter is whisked together in one bowl, without using a mixer. Make sure not to overbake, and letting them cool properly gives the jam and chocolate chunks a chance to firm up and solidify. If you like rich, fudgy, deep, dark brownies, these are the ones to try.

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Ingredients:

10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks), melted
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons brewed coffee (leftover from the morning brew is fine), optional but recommend to enhance chocolate flavor and does not make brownies taste like coffee
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process, I used Droste Cocoa)
1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee granules, optional but recommend to enhance chocolate flavor and does not make brownies taste like coffee
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
about 1/2 heaping cup thick cherry jam or preserves, well-stirred in jar
6 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped into chunks (semi-sweet chocolate chips may be substituted but won’t melt as well)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang on the sides, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute. Allow butter to cool momentarily so you don’t scramble the eggs.
  3. Add the eggs, sugars, optional coffee, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the cocoa powder, optional espresso granules, optional salt, and whisk to combine. If your cocoa powder is lumpy, it could take a couple minutes of vigorous whisking.
  5. Add the flour and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or knife. Batter is very thick and fudgy so take your time to work it into the corners of the pan.
  7. Add the cherry jam over the brownie batter in 1 tablespoon-sized blobs. Stirring it first in the jar to break it up will make dolloping it out easier.
  8. Using a knife, gently swirl the jam through the batter in a zig-zag pattern. Don’t get carried away and over-swirl because it will sink to the bottom of the pan while baking.
  9. Evenly sprinkle chocolate chunks over the pan.
  10. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until done; don’t overbake (I baked for 21 minutes in my very hot-running Caribbean oven). Because ovens, ingredients (how much moisture is in the jam used), and climates vary, use your judgment when your brownies are done; watch your brownies, not the number on the clock. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out mostly clean, but will likely have a few moist crumbs, but no batter. The jam doesn’t fully set up, and the chocolate chunks will be melty, so make sure to examine the brownie portion, not the jam or chocolate chunks portion, when glancing at your toothpick.
  11. Allow brownies to rest for at least 1 hour, or overnight, before lifting out with foil overhang and slicing. Letting them cool properly gives the jam and chocolate chunks a chance to firm up and solidify. Brownies will keep airtight at room temperature or refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. I prefer to store rich brownies like these in the fridge and serve them slightly chilled.

Adapted from Salted Caramel Pretzel BlondiesThe Ultimate Fudgy Caramel Brownies, and Loaded Fudgy Candy Bar Brownies, Salted Caramel Pretzel-Topped Fudgy Brownies

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Favorite brownie recipe?