I am still enjoying the chocolate & cherry flavor combination so I created these brownies for Valentine’s Day, but you can make them for any day that you are craving this combo (it’s one of my favorites).
I used a box mix for the brownie base because, well, don’t tell anyone but I love the taste of some box brownie mixes. It’s true. You may use your own recipe if you have a favorite, if not, a box mix is nice and easy and soooo moist and chewy!
I followed the instructions on the box but tweaked it a bit. My instructions called for 2 eggs and 1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus 3 tablespoons of milk. If the instructions on the back of your box call for something else, feel free to be adventurous and adapt away!
Chocolate Cherry Chip Brownies
Your favorite brownie mix (I used Betty Crocker’s Milk Chocolate Brownie Mix)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of coconut milk (or milk or water)
1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup cherry flavored chips (they are like chocolate chips but cherry flavor)
nuts/toasted nuts – optional (just remember…you are what you eat!)
1 package of Hershey Kisses – Cherry Cordial Flavor (my bag was missing a handful of Kisses for some reason………)
Line your brownie pan with foil and make sure that it is long enough to hang over the edges to use as handles when it comes time to take the brownies out of the pan. I used an 8×8 pan.
Take the wrappers off of most of the Hershey Kiss chocolates.
Preheat oven according to package instructions. In medium bowl, mix brownie mix, eggs, oil coconut milk and extract until blended. Stir in cherry chips (and nuts). Spread mixture into the pan.
Place in oven. Check brownies after about 20 minutes. If edges are crisping too quickly, turn oven down 25 degrees. For example, I cooked my brownies at 350 degrees, then dropped the temperature to 325 degrees. Cook another 15-20 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and top the brownies with the Hershey Kiss candies. Stick the pan back in the oven and turn it off. Let the chocolates melt for a few minutes. They will not melt completely and will hold their shape more or less, but you will be able to see that they are soft.
Take the pan out of the oven and with an offset spatula or knife, start to spread the melted chocolates over the top of the brownies like frosting. Do not panic when you first start to spread (like I did) because the chocolate cherry centers ooze out and it looks like you are just going to have a big mess on your hands. Keep going! The cherry center melts into the chocolate and it will eventually be a smooth chocolate top. Let brownies cool completely, then pull them out of the pan with the handy dandy foil handles that you lined the pan with and cut into desired shapes – like maybe a heart?