Chocolate Cherry Crumb Bars
This was the 4th and final recipe to conquer for my SIL’s Cookie Exchange 10 days ago. It’s Martha Stewart’s recipe. My SIL had larger pans than what the recipe called for (9-inch square pan), so we decided to go ahead and double the recipe. Bad move on our part. It was late (probably 10pm) and we (er–I mean–I) couldn’t focus very well. I was still battling my cold, and was anxious to be done with this particular recipe. (I prefer recipes with fewer steps, but my SIL picked it out and I enjoy baking more than her, so I don’t like to disappoint). Just as we were going to place 2 pans of this recipe in the oven, I realized I had forgotten to double certain ingredients. LOL. Even with my blunder, these bars are delicious!
While I’ve never been a cherries lover, I’m already dreamin’ of making this again soon!
To view in Flickr, go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/yummies4tummies/3137177738
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/4 cups dried cherries, chopped coarsely
- 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, set aside 2 tablespoons and cut the rest into small cubes
- 1 cup white sugar, divided
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder–we used Ghirardelli
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (about 3 ounces), lightly toasted–we used sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 cups plus 7 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons kirsch or cherry-flavored liqueur (optional)
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
- Parchment paper
- Toast coconut: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange shredded coconut on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until light golden brown.
- Coarsely chop dried cherries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a 9″ square pan with foil or parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray.
- Bring cherries, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup white sugar and 2/3 cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been almost all absorbed – about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup white sugar. Let cool, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, salt, brown sugar, toasted coconut, and 2 cups flour. With a pastry blender or your fingertips, mix in the remaining cubed butter until it resembles coarse meal. Measure 3 lightly packed cups cocoa mixture and press into the lined 9″ pan. Bake until just set, about 20 minutes.
- Place egg, remaining 1/2 cup white sugar, and kirsch into an electric mixer bowl. Mix on medium-high speed with the whisk attachment until pale, about 4 minutes. Gently fold in the cherry mixture and the remaining 7 1/2 teaspoons flour. Stir in chocolate chunks. Spread this mixture evenly over crust and then top with the remaining cocoa mixture.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean – a few crumbs attached is okay – about 50 minutes. Carefully remove from the pan by lifting out the foil or parchment paper. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.
UPDATE March 15, 2009: I made these bars a few days ago. Yummmm!
This is a must-do recipe for cherry lovers!
Chewy cherry bars with toasted coconut!
Bake these yummies:
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