Friday, September 26, 2014

Chocolate Cherry Bars

Pretty please with a cherry on top!

I remember saying it when I was a little girl when I really, really, really wanted something. I'm fairly confident it didn't work to sway my parents.

I thought of the phrase again when I added dried cherries to a chocolate chip bar cookie recipe. I'm not a huge fan of chocolate-covered cherries, but the tart dried cherries, teamed with both white and semi-sweet chocolate, were a tasty combination.

I left most of the bars plain, since I was just transporting them to the field for evening suppers. But I always like to figure out ways to make a Plain Jane bar fancy enough to put on a cookie tray or use for a women's luncheon. So I dressed up a few of the bars with some melted almond bark and used a decorator's tube to drizzle it in a zigzag pattern over cut bars. Then, I did put a cherry on top, using a little of the melted bark to make it stick.
If you had pink candy coating, that would add another pop of color. You could also make an icing with powdered sugar, maraschino cherry juice and a little butter and drizzle it on top for color. 

When I'm in a hurry, bar cookies are the answer, since you fix them, throw all the dough in a pan to bake at one time and then cut when cool. I especially like those recipes prepared in a jelly-roll pan because I can stretch them for even more meals to the field trips.

They would work well for a tailgate party, too. I'm hoping that my Wildcats can come back this week with a victory over UTEP.  Pretty please with a cherry on top?!

They'll have to do it without us, though, since we'll be staying home to plant wheat.

Chocolate Cherry Bars
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 5-oz. pkg. dried cherries
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, walnuts or macadamia nuts (opt.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 15- by 11-inch jellyroll pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugars until well blended. Add vanilla and eggs, mixing well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, dried cherries and nuts (opt.).

Spread evenly in the prepared baking pan, using a flat spatula. Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Don't overbake.

If you'd like to dress them up, you can melt 2 ounces of white candy coating in the microwave. Put in a decorator's tube and zig-zag over cut bars. Top with a dried cherry, using a little bit of melted candy to secure. 


  1. Good Luck with wheat planting, Kim!
    My Mom likes to say a recipe is a guideline. Replacing the chocolate chips with dried cherries sounds yummy.

    1. Thanks, Robyn! We stayed home from the K-State game this week to plant. I've had several trips back and forth to the field today.