Chocolate with Cherries and Almonds - a classic combination baked into delicious bars. They were really really good. Moist and cherry dimpled chocolate delicately sat on a crumbly almond base.
Don’t you love it when your hands are stained with cherry juice. I do not have a fancy tool to pit my cherries, but I really do not mind pitting them the old way at all. I love the color and once in a while I can scare the kids pretending to be a witch with bloody hands! The blessed summer that we have- all vibrant and juicy. We got to be thankful for. Enjoy the fruits of the season and make the best of it. Yes I am enjoying my summer and probably….
… mismanaging my time too. It could be the heat, the hundreds of to do”s or whatever but nothing is an excuse good enough. Nothing much today as I am finishing this post in a hurry. I had been wanting to make some kind of bar for a long time, esp. after the miserably failed attempt to make some date bars last year. I do not still know where I went wrong last time, for I followed the recipe to the T as I usually do when I am baking something I haven’t done before.
When I saw Susan was hosting the Sugar High Fridays and the theme was “Bars” I had planned to give the “Bars” another try, only now to realize I missed the deadline. Susan however graciously extended the time and I am rushing, hoping to complete this.
I am glad to say that nothing went wrong this time other than time itself. They were almost gone in one short evening before I could grab some uneven pieces for some quick pictures. Please please do not judge them by how they look – they were delicious and way better than they appear here. Everyone loved it and they are waiting for me to make them again. Here Susan have them all for the SHF 67.
Cherry Chocolate Almond Bar
Ingredients:(makes about 14 bars)
For the base:
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
For the top layer:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup self rising flour
- 3/4 cup cherries, pitted and halved
- 3 tablespoons slivered/shaved almonds
- confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- pitted and sliced cherries for garnish
Pre heat oven to 350 degree F. Grease the base and sides of a 8 inch baking pan. (I used a 9″ loaf pan as I needed the bars taller)
Grind the sugar. In a bowl combine almond meal, flour and lemon zest and rub the zest between your fingertips along with the flour to release the essential oils; combine the sugar along with the flour. Add the chilled butter and with your fingertips rub the butter till the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, or process the flour and the butter in a food processor.
Pat the mixture onto the base of the baking pan in an even layer and gently press it down; bake for 25 minutes.
Preparing the top layer:
Heat butter along with water in a pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, whisk in the cocoa powder and sugar. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add the salt and the vanilla extract. Whisk in the eggs and fold in the self rising flour.
Dust the cherries and nuts with flour.
Pour the batter over the pre baked crust. Spoon in the cherries and the nuts from the top in small amounts as evenly as you can. Some of them will sink, but it is okay.
Return baking pan to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until set.
Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for for 5 minutes. With a sharp knife slice into desired number of bars.
Let cool completely and separate bars and transfer them to a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Serve with fresh sliced cherries.
Recipe adapted from Chocolate Walnut Bars (The Cook Encyclopedia of Chocolate)