I am most definitely a chunky girl. Err… Wait… That came out wrong. I love chunky things? Uhh, still not right… Ok, how about: I prefer crunchy peanut butter, chunky applesauce, chunky soup, chocolate chunks to chocolate chips, and chunky blondies. If a food is described as “chunky,” I’ll most likely love it. Unless that food involves a lot of liquid or is a meat of some sort, then I want no parts of that. None, thankyouverymuch. So, naturally, I like my brownies with chunks of something in them.
Before we talk about Lynn’s weird love of chunks, let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start <–name that musical!) and talk about the reason these brownies came about. A few months ago, I found out that Nestle TollHouse came out with these wonderful chocolate chips they’re calling “DelightFulls.” You may have seen me freak out about finding them (if not– what are you doing? Follow me on IG!) at Target, but my dearest husband found them in our regular grocery store last weekend. Yep, I no longer have to go a longish distance to retrieve these delightful (ha!) little morsels… And I may develop a stuffed chocolate morsel problem that involves baking lots of things with them inside. Would you be mad? The answer is no, you would not.
While the caramel and peanut butter ones are most definitely yummy, the mint and cherry ones stood out to me the most as the flavors I wanted to try baking with first. I have always been a huge fan of the chocolate/cherry flavor combination (hello, Cherry Garcia and black forest cake), so I knew throwing these bad boys into some scratch brownies could go nothing but so so right.
Now, about these brownies. Sigh… I’m giving you fair warning: brownie science brings out my inner baking nerd. BUT, if you’ve never made brownies from scratch before, it’s helpful to know what’s going on.
First of all, you need a lot of chocolate, a lot of sugar, a little flour, and a few eggs. The chocolate you use depends on how you want your brownies to turn out. Do you want light, cakey brownies? Use cocoa powder. Do you prefer fudgy, chewy brownies? Use baking chocolate. You’ll see this recipe is similar to my brownie cookies, in that we’re aiming for a dense, rich texture. No cocoa powder here! If you’re looking for that… You might as well make some chocolate cake.
High quality baking chocolate is the way to go. Coarsely chopped.
For the sugar, you’ll use mostly brown sugar with just a touch of granulated sugar. Why? Brown sugar makes things extra moist, which in turn helps keep these brownies fudgy. Plus, brown sugar has a deep, rich flavor. The granulated sugar is for that serious sweetness.
The addition of a small amount of flour is just the trick for puffing these brownies up ever so slightly so that you don’t end up with a pile of fudge. Not that it would be the worst thing, but that’s a recipe for another day!
The last ingredient that ensures these brownies are the chewiest and fudgiest they can possibly be is eggs. You’ll need 3 of them– no more, no less. They are the key to achieving the perfect texture!
The final things you’ll add are your DelightFulls and a generous cup of dried cherries (which I kept whole– feel free to chop them). The chocolate morsels have the ultra-sweet cherry filling that pairs oh-so-nicely with tart dried cherries (just be sure not to use tart cherries– good old dried cherries is what you want here). The two together is best of both cherry worlds.
You may be wondering where the “chunk” part of this post went, and it’s right here: every bite I took of these brownies was full of a chunk of something. Whether that was a melty chocolate cherry morsel or a big ol’ chunk of an actual cherry, I was in brownie heaven when I first dug into this pan. There is cherry flavor in every single bite, and sinking your teeth into a plump cherry is the cherry on top (??? cherry in the middle?? WHAT?). I’ve typed the word “cherry” far too many times, and I think you get the idea that these brownies are incredible.
Fudgy, chewy, dense brownies with all the goodness of a chocolate covered cherry rolled into each and every bite. Now that’s what I call a successful from scratch brownie recipe.
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 8 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup brown sugar sugar, firmly packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Nestle TollHouse DelightFulls dark chocolate morsels with cherry filling
- 1 cup dried cherries (not tart)*
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring constantly, until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you may melt butter and chopped chocolate in the microwave in a medium microwave safe bowl. Heat in 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval. As stated, allow to cool about 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 7" x 11" baking dish** with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
- Whisk the brown and granulated sugars into the cooled chocolate/butter mixture. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each egg addition. Whisk in the vanilla.
- Gently fold in the flour and salt. After everything is combined, add chocolate morsels and cherries. Stir gently until evenly dispersed.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 35-38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs on it. Do not over bake brownies. If your oven runs hot, you might find it best to test brownies after 30 minutes.
- Allow pan to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into squares with a very sharp knife.
**You may bake brownies in an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan. Baking time is approximately 35-40 minutes (again, watch beginning at 30 minutes)
Q: What would you like to see me put the other morsels into? We have peanut butter, caramel, and mint still to work with…