Cut 12 cherries in half, and set aside. Chop the remaining cherries, and set aside.
Combine butter and 1/2 cup chocolate morsels in top of a double boiler; bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook until the butter and chocolate melt, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.
Combine the flour and next 3 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir well and set aside.
Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla to reserved chocolate mixture, stirring with a wire whisk until blended. Add to the reserved flour mixture, beating at low speed of an electric mixer until blended. Stir in reserved chopped cherries and pecans (pecans are optional).
Spread mixture in a greased 13x9x2 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares, and top each square with a reserved cherry half.
Combine 1/2 cup chocolate morsels and shortening in the top of a double boiler; bring water to a boiil. Reduce heat to low; cook until chocolate and shortening melt, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the brownies.