I feel the need to give you a little disclaimer right now. If you make these, good luck not eating the entire pan. These were a hit with every chocolate cherry lover I shared them with. They’re rich, they’re delicious, and they’re really very easy to make.
In fact, maybe a little too easy to make… you’ll want to make these for every potluck and bake sale you can, not to mention that it’s perfect for a Death By Chocolate Halloween party…
You will want to start out with a Duncan Hines Decadent Triple Chocolate Cake Mix, found at many grocery stores nationwide. This mix comes with two pouches inside, the first being a cake mix and the second being a fudge mixture.
Go ahead and prepare the fudge mixture packet according to the box directions, by adding 1/3 cup of water to the fudge mix packet in a small bowl. Stir that until it thickens, and set it aside until later.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×13 pan with foil. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix pouch with a stick of melted butter, 1 egg, and half a teaspoon of almond extract. Stir in 1/4 cup sliced almonds. This will be a very thick mixture!
Divide that mixture in half. Press one half into the bottom of the pan, covering it completely, as a thin crust. Then, spread the fudge mixture you previously set aside over the crust layer.
Now, start taking portions of the second half of the cake mix mixture and press it into thin layers and lay them on top of the fudge mixture. I flattened them in my hand and then gently laid them on top rather than trying to press them onto the fudge layer directly.
Drain a 10-16 oz jar of cherries completely, then pour the drained cherries on top of the mixture, trying to make sure that each finished piece will have at least one cherry. Then, toss that into the oven and bake it for 20-25 minutes.
Let this cool completely. 100%, totally, absolutely cool to the touch. If you do it any earlier than that, you risk mucking up the drizzle, and you’d hate to do that, wouldn’t you? (I’m the least patient person ever, but I AM a perfectionist, so the threat of messing up drizzle is enough to keep me from digging into the next step too soon).
Once it’s totally cool, sprinkle on your other half cup of sliced almonds.
Now, the fun part. Take half a cup of semisweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate, or dark chocolate, whatever you prefer, but I chose semisweet) and melt it in a double boiler or in the microwave. If microwaving, stir it every 30 seconds. If you find it’s too thick and not drizzle-able, you can add in a little bit of shortening or coconut oil to help smooth it out a little bit.
Now, drizzle the living tar out of your black forest bars. Get them good and drizzly.
Let that dry completely. I know, exercising patience again. Ugh.
Once it’s dry, cut those into bars, or better yet, triangles. When I was at the Duncan Hines Test Kitchen, I noticed that the chefs cut a lot of decadent treats like fudge into triangles instead of squares, and they looked so elegant that way! I’ve gotten used to cutting a lot of things into triangles now, too.
Death By Chocolate Black Forest Bars
1 Duncan Hines Decadent Triple Chocolate Cake Mix
1 stick melted butter
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ Cup sliced almonds
1 jar (16 oz) Maraschino Cherries, well drained
½ cup Semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Line 13×9 pan with foil and set aside. Mix Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate small pouch in small bowl with ⅓ cup water, stirring until the mix thickens. Set aside. In separate bowl, combine cake mix (large Duncan Hines pouch), butter, egg, and extract in a large bowl. Stir in ¼ cup sliced almonds. This will be a very thick batter. Divide batter in half, and press one half into the foil-lined pan. Spread entire fudge mixture onto bottom crust. Flatten large portions of second half of thick batter mixture and lay gently on top of the fudge mixture. Top evenly with jar of drained cherries. Bake for 20-25 minutes in preheated oven, and let cool completely. Once completely cool, sprinkle with remaining sliced almonds. Microwave chocolate chips until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. If the chocolate is too thick, consider adding a small spoonful of coconut oil or shortening to help it smooth out. Drizzle chocolate over finished bars. Once chocolate drizzle has hardened, cut into triangles or bars.
Recipe adapted from Duncan Hines Decadent Triple Chocolate Mix and 3 Books In 1: Church Potlucks, Sunday Supper, and Bake Sale.