Cherry Brownie Cheesecake

I have a confession to make. While I love almost all fruits and veggies, there are just some fruits I CANNOT eat raw. Fruits that have a thin skin covering their flesh. Think blueberries, grapes, and cherries. Unlike Hubby, who can eat blueberries until his hands and mouth are literally blue, I just can’t do it. The texture really grosses me out.

Just because I don’t eat these fruit raw, doesn’t mean I don’t love baking with them. As evidenced by the plethera of blueberry recipes I’ve already posted, I clearly enjoy the flavors these fruits have to offer.

Cherries are a new food for me. Since I don’t eat them raw, and Hubby doesn’t crave them year-round, we just never buy them. On our recent strawberry picking adventure, the farm also had cherry picking available. The cherries looked amazingly juicy and full of flavor. We didn’t end up picking any, but I’ve been seeing tons of cherry recipes popping up on the internet recently.

Then I was at the store and cherries were on sale for a great price. On a whim, I stuck a bag in my cart and brought some home. Hubby was shocked and instantly started snacking on them, claiming he was taste testing them to make sure they were safe for consumption.

Before Hubby ate his way through the whole bag, I set off to find something to make with my impulse buy. There were quite a few recipes out there that caught my eye. I decided to combine this recipe for a Cherry Brownie Cheesecake and this recipe for Roasted Cherry Brownies into one.

I used my Go-To Brownie Recipe for the brownie layer. Instead of using canned cherry pie filling, I used roasted cherries in between the brownie and cheesecake layers, and more on top. I figure if I’m going to heat up the oven to 450 on a hot summer day, I might as well roast a ton of cherries at once.

Hubby and I agreed that this cheesecake was a great way to use up this bag of cherries. We also agreed that I need to buy cherries more often to bake something with them. Roasting fruit gives it a deeper, more sophisticated flavor profile. And who can beat the combination of brownies, cheesecake, and cherry?

Since I don’t have a cherry pitter, I just used a sturdy plastic straw to remove the pits of the cherries. It did take a bit of time to stem, pit, and chop a pound and a half of cherries, but it’s definitely worth it. If you’re in a hurry, you could definitely use brownie mix and store-bought whipped chream instead of making everything from scratch.

One Year Ago: Blueberry Cheesecake Bars and Raspberry Almond Coconut Breakfast Quinoa
Two Years Ago: Blueberry Almond Cake with Lemon Drizzle
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes and Goat Cheese Potato Salad
Four Years Ago: Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

I am submitting this for this month’s What’s Baking, hosted by Jaida of Sweet Beginnings. This month’s theme is Summer Fruit!

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Roasted Cherry Brownie Cheesecake

Roasting fruit lends itself to a more sophisticated flavor. The combination of roasted cherries, cheesecake, and brownies will surely please anyone you serve this to.

Yield: Serves 12

Ingredients:

For the Roasted Cherries
1.5 lb (~4 cups) cherries, stemmed and pitted
1/4 cup sugar

For the Brownie Layer
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder, optional
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips

For the Cheesecake
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs

For the Garnish
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
6-10 cherries

Directions:

For the Roasted Cherries
Preheat oven to 450F.

Place pitted, chopped cherries in a small casserole dish or cake pan. Top with sugar and stir. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and set to 350F.

For the Brownie Layer
While the cherries are roasting, prepare the brownie batter. Grease a 9" springform pan with baking spray.

In a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine.

Transfer the sugar mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, if you've heated it in a saucepan. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla.

Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth.

Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth.

Spread into a prepared pan and bake 10-12 minutes or until brownie is just set, but not completely done.

For the Cheesecake
While the brownies are baking, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until well combined and smooth.

Add in the eggs on low speed and set the mixture aside.

Carefully spoon (1 cup) of the roasted cherries into the center of brownie, leave a 2-inch brownie border along sides of pan. Place remaining roasted cherries in a covered dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Gently scoop the cream cheese mixture over surface; carefully spread to edges of pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until center is set, but jiggles when the pan is lightly tapped.

Leaving the cheesecake in the oven, turn off oven and crack oven door. Allow to come to room temperature. This will take about an hour.

Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving.

For the Garnish
Spoon the remaining roasted cherries on top of the cheesecake.

Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup whipping cream until smooth.

Add the rest of the cream and beat until it has the consistency of whipped cream (don’t overmix).

Pipe onto cheesecake and place one cherry on each swirl of whipped cream.

Recipe inspired by Tidy Mom, Brownie recipe from My Go-To Brownie Recipe, Roasted Cherries from Pastry Affair, Cream Cheese Whipped Cream from me

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23 Responses to “Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars”

  1. #
    1
    hannah! — June 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    A slice of this? Yes please!

  2. #
    2
    Sara — June 7, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Oh my…a slice? I’ll take the whole pan, please. πŸ™‚

  3. #
    3
    Cupcake Activist — June 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    I am a firm believer in combining foods that are great. The photos are making me drool!

  4. #
    4
    yumventures — June 7, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    So amazingly decadent! I love these. So would my boyfriend πŸ™‚

  5. #
    5
    BeeKayRoot — June 8, 2010 at 3:18 am

    You should simply call these the “Yes, Please” bars.

  6. #
    6
    Chocolate Shavings — June 8, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Those bars look perfect!

  7. #
    7
    Amy — June 8, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Mmmmm, she said trying not to drool.

  8. #
    8
    Taylor — June 8, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Yes please is right! I need to make these as soon as possible!

  9. #
    9
    bridget {bake at 350} — June 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Yours turned out so pretty! I’m so glad you liked them! πŸ™‚

  10. #
    10
    oneordinaryday — June 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Holy cow! I agree with your husband. I’d beg for those bars, for sure.

  11. #
    11
    Mary — June 8, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Oh, I say “yes please,” too! YUM! Those both sound and look delicious!!! A must make!

    xxMK
    Delightful Bitefuls

  12. #
    12
    Ingrid — June 9, 2010 at 12:24 am

    I’ve seen these around and each time I think, MUST bake, soon! This time around is no different except I AM going to make these asap. Thanks for the shove, I mean nudge! πŸ™‚
    ~ingrid

  13. #
    13
    Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} — June 9, 2010 at 3:43 am

    I’ve made these before and I still think about them. Your pictures are beautiful. I’m adding you to my blog list!

  14. #
    14
    Amanda — June 9, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    wow! heavenly! –hoteles en veracruzt

  15. #
    15
    steph — June 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I’ll take two! These bars look great. I am saving the recipe!

  16. #
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    Fun and Fearless in Beantown — June 9, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Wow, these look simply amazing! I think I would say “Yes Please” too!

  17. #
    17
    Tia — June 10, 2010 at 4:49 am

    i just printed this off. SO excited to try it!

  18. #
    18
    Ma What's 4 dinner — June 10, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    My family would go insane for this! Newest follower here!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma, What’s For Dinner
    http://www.mawhats4dinner.com

  19. #
    19
    cookies and cups — June 11, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    These are some of my favorite bars! Yours look great πŸ™‚

  20. #
    20
    We Are Not Martha — June 12, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Oh wow, these look absolutely delightful! I could probably eat a whole pan πŸ™‚ Happy weekend!

    Sues

  21. #
    21
    Amanda — June 18, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Yum, yum, yum! I could do some serious damage to those. They look heavenly.

  22. #
    22
    Tyler — August 24, 2010 at 2:43 am

    I’ve been browsing your blog and these look delicious! Well, everything looks delicious but I’m a cheesecake girl and my husband is definitely a chocolate chip cookie kind of guy so I can’t wait to try these!

  23. #
    23
    Rhondi — December 31, 2010 at 2:46 am

    I made these last week. They were amazing!

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