Fudgy-Brownie Cherry Bites with Salted Whiskey Caramel Sauce

One of James's coworkers celebrated a birthday earlier this week, and though James was home sick with a man-cold (sinus-induced) I didn't want her to think we'd forgotten about her special day. Birthdays are my favorite because they give me an opportunity to craft a treat specific to one person's tastes. Kelly likes chocolate, and everybody likes salted caramel whiskey sauce. The treat of choice was apparent.

brownie bites recipe

I followed this recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce (#29), but I doubled the vanilla extract to 2 teaspoons and used whiskey-based vanilla that I made at home. The brownies were inspired originally by a this Food Network recipe (#11), but they've evolved so much over the past two years that they're very much my own invention now. 

Fudgy Brownie Bites Recipe

Notes:  These bites are addictive. They're reminiscent of a chocolate-covered cherry, but with better textures and brighter flavors.  As usual, I use salted butter in this recipe, because I am a heathen. They Ceylon cinnamon gives the bites a warm, almost spicy end note (without the need to mess with cayenne). I prep the cherries before I do anything else, stacking them cut-side up to reserve as much of their juice as possible. 


  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cacao)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
  • 1 stick butter* 
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tb molasses
  • 1½ tsp Ceylon cinnamon
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract*
  • 1 cup flour
  • 24 bing cherries, halved and pitted (48 pieces total)


  1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with tinfoil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Alternatively, prepare a mini-muffin tray with liners (pictured).
  2. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pot over medium heat, melt the two types of chocolate chips and the butter. Whisk until combined and smooth.
  3. Add the sugars, whisking to combine. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the molasses, cinnamon, sea salt, and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour and mix until combined. Whisk until the mixture is gorgeous and glossy (which doesn't take long). Resist the urge to drink the batter. 
  5. Transfer batter into your baking vessel of your choice. If you're going to make the mini brownie bites, I recommend using a squirt bottle (this requires a funnel and mild patience) to keep things clean.
  6. Brownie Bites: Bake bites for 14 minutes. Transfer from mini-muffin pan to cooling rack, and immediately (while the bites are still very hot) press a half-cherry, cut-side-down, gently onto the top of each bite. Doing this while the bites are hot pulls the cherry juice down into the bite, giving it a decadently fudgy texture and the wonderful, rich flavor profile. Allow to cool completely, then top with Salted Whiskey Caramel Sauce. Fun Fact: If you eat it in one bite, the calories don't count. Probably.
  7. 8x8 Baking Dish: Bake brownies for 45 minutes. Remove brownies and foil from baking dish and transfer to wire rack. Press halved cherries cut-side down in even rows across the top of the brownies. Drizzle with Salted Whiskey Caramel Sauce, top with vanilla ice cream, and enjoy.

Yield: Approx. 48 mini brownie bites or one week's worth of breakfast. 

What's your favorite birthday treat?