Originally posted Dec. 18, 2011
A few years ago, I was watching the food network and the pillsbury bake-off was on. I knew right then that some day I wanted to enter this competition. This year was it.
Every Christmas my mom makes triple chocolate cake for all of our family friends. It is a super rich cake with a hint of almond. Half of the recipients confuse the almond flavoring for cherry. While cherries and almonds are quite different, they go amazingly together; and I decided that I would combine them for this competition.
My first attempt involved pillsbury pie crust, and it was an utter failure.
Then I decided I would combine an almond flavored brownie, an almond glaze, and cherry preserves. Once I had that decided, I just needed to settle on the presentation of the dessert. Bite size brownies? Cherries in between two layers of brownies? Cherries below or above the almond glaze? My classmates were forced to test out a different version every couple of weeks. Finally, I decided on a brownie cooked in a pie pan with the almond glaze topped by cherries; served like a cake.
I brought the dessert to a NCAA basketball championship watching party last spring and had people rate it and provide name suggestions. The runner up name was “cherry bomb,” and I’m planning on making another dessert that would more accurately depict that name (I’m picturing a cake pop with cherries in the middle). “Pretty please brownies with cherries on top” won the prize for the perfect name!
The rules of the competition included that the recipe could never have been posted on a blog before, and you could not be a paid food blogger. There are no advertisements on this blog, and up until this point, I have never posted the recipe.
Well, I lost. Actually worse than lost, I never made the bake-off… Guess I should stop dreaming about what I would do with the million dollar prize. So now as my Christmas present to you, I share with you my award winning (in my book only) pretty please brownies with cherries on top.
This is one of those recipe that is best after it has cooled and the flavors have had time to come together.
Pretty Please Brownies with Cherries on Top
Adapted from my Pillsbury Bake-off Recipe
Grease a 9×9 pie pan. Line with parchment (important).
Prepare boxed brownie as instructed on the box.
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips (if you are using a fudge brownie mix with chocolate chips already in it, then
1/2 a cup is probably enough)
Pour in pie pan and bake as instructed on box. (Under cook as much as you like, but make sure it doesn’t
come out as pudding.)
Meanwhile prepare icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. almond extract
When brownie is done, allow to cool slightly, then flip onto a serving dish. Drizzle with icing.
Finally, top with 3/4 of a jar of Pillsbury Cherry Preserves.
Allow to cool completely, then slice and serve!