It’s just like a cherry cordial — one that’s big enough to need a plate. BAM! Cupid just shot a thousand tiny arrows into your taste buds. Deal with that.
- 1 box brownie mix (Ghirardelli Ultimate Fudge, with the fudge icing packet included)
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine
- 1 or 2 eggs (1 for a shorter, fudgier brownie; 2 for a taller, fluffier brownie)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
- 1 12-ounce jar marshmallow topping (the kind you drizzle over ice cream)
- 2-3 teaspoons almond extract, to taste
- 1/3 cup juice from a maraschino cherry jar
- 15-25 maraschino cherries, depending on pan size
Open box mix and set aside the fudge icing packet, which you’ll use after the baking. Be careful when buying your brownie mix for this recipe. Don’t confuse a “put-the-fudge-packet-INTO-the-batter” mix with a “put-the-fudge-packet-ON-TOP-OF-the-baked-brownie” mix. (The into-the-batter packets are usually not very sweet and won’t work as a frosting.)
Pour powdered brownie mix into a large bowl.
Melt butter or margarine in microwave (about 25-30 seconds) and add it to the brownie mix, along with the eggs and water. Mix thoroughly. Spread 80% of the chocolate batter into a greased pan, setting aside 20% for later.
In a medium bowl, place cream cheese and marshmallow topping. Mix with hand beater on medium speed just until completely mixed.
By hand, mix in the cherries, almond extract, and maraschino juice. It will be the prettiest shade of pink!
Using a tablespoon, scoop up one cherry and a spoonful of the cherry filling. Place this cherry-pink filling down into the chocolate batter. Don’t just put a dollop on top of the batter; try to get it down in there.
Plan ahead on how you will space the cherries into your pan. Each brownie should have one cherry in its center. I used an 11×7 pan and I used 24 cherries in 6 rows of 4 cherries.
Use the remaining 20% of chocolate brownie batter to drizzle over top of the pink batter. This will make for a more attractive crust. (When I first made this recipe, I just let the pink batter stay exposed. Once baked, it was pretty odd-looking until I covered it with the frosting that came in the box mix. So, I recently added this extra step as a decorative pre-emptive strike.)
Bake until a toothpick placed into the chocolate part comes out nearly clean, about 25-40 minutes, depending on the size of your pan.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Soften the fudge icing packet by placing it under hot tap water for 30 seconds. Knead packet in your hands to mix packet’s contents. Cut away a tiny corner of the packet so it will deliver a thin ribbon of icing.
Drizzle icing over your cooled brownies in a pattern that will be pleasing to you and your valentine. You don’t have to go for a “fully frosted” effect here; feel free to leave some areas exposed.
Mmm, mmm. “Love” just isn’t a big enough concept for this. Serve with two forks.