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No, not that kind of special brownies! I don’t care how much you love to cook. Everyone needs a few recipes in their arsenal for those times when: 1. You’ve been invited somewhere last minute. 2. You’ve invited someone over last minute. 3. Your husband tells you at the last minute that he is supposed to bring something to a company pot-luck. 4. You don’t want/have time to go to the grocery store. 5. You don’t want/have time to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I found myself in some combination of the above scenarios about a year ago but didn’t want to do just boxed brownie mix. I wanted something that felt a little more special.  These, are indeed special! Gooey chocolatey goodness with gooey fruit goodness mixed in. Well, let me just give you a preview: 

If I had made these as I normally do, the title would be “Cherry Chunk Brownies” because I usually use cherry preserves. Then they have the addition of chunks of cherries running throughout them. SO GOOD. They are fantastic alone but if you want to kick it up even more, serve them warm with Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream on top. You have a killer dessert for little more effort than a boxed brownie mix!

Last Sunday when I found myself needing an easy, quick dessert I knew exactly what I would make. I did not have cherry preserves on hand so I went with seedless boysenberry. Use whatever your family would enjoy. I bet just about any kind of jam or preserve would work well in this which is why I decided to just call them ‘Special Brownies.’

The original recipe was from Giada de Laurentis. She used raspberry jam but I didn’t want seeds in mine. She also adds white chocolate and almonds but not everybody likes nuts and I really didn’t feel like messing with melting chocolate to drizzle on top the first time I made these. I honestly don’t think they need it. I like the simplicity of just adding the jam. The whole point (for me anyway) was big taste pay off with as little work as possible.

Special Brownies


  • 2/3 cup jam or preserves
  • 1 box brownie mix (I like Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water


Preheat the oven to 325.

Place the jam in a bowl and microwave for about 40 seconds. Stir until smooth and easy to drizzle with a spoon.

Mix all other ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Drizzle the jam by spoonfull over the brownie mix. Bake on the center rack for 27-30 minutes. If you are using a glass pan they will need about 5 minutes extra cooking time. Place pan on a wire rack to cool. Last Sunday I made two batches and I learned that for some reason when I bake them in a glass dish the jam sinks down into them a little more, giving you brownies that look like this: They are equally delicious as those that have bigger “pools” of jam on top, so don’t worry either way! Just enjoy. They are good plain, or as stated above served warm with ice cream on top. They also travel well (if you’re willing to share!):