Monday, January 23, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bars

In case you haven't made my Cherry Angel Food Magic cake yet, you should.
Cherries are by far my number one choice for any sweet. Pie, cake, ice cream, cookies, frosting, cheesecake...the list goes on and on and on...and you get the point.
So when I came across a dessert from Veronica's Cornucopia I knew I had to try right away (mostly because my mouth started watering instantly for it).
After I read through the recipe I was very intimated by it. It has many steps, well a lot of mixing-baking-cooling-repeat.
After a week of staring at the recipe and not making it, I finally gave in today and I'm very happy that I did!
I did find that I could shave some time off if I needed this in a hurry by using a tube of refrigerated sugar cookie dough for the crust. You would not get the same almond flavor as this crust provides, but it would be a simple way to shave some time off.

Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bars
Prep: 25 minutes Bake: 40 minutes + cooling time Servings: 20-24 bars depending on how large you cut them

Preheat oven to 350°

Cookie Layer:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
3 Tbsp confectioner's sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt 

Cream butter, sugars, egg and extracts together. 
Combine flour, baking powder and salt.
Add to cream mixture
Press into 9x13 baking dish
Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven.

Meanwhile separate 1 egg and beat egg white until foamy.
When the crust is done baking, use a pastry brush to brush the egg white over the cookie layer.
Place back in the oven for 3 minutes.
Place on cooling rack to cool completely.

Cherry Layer:
2 eggs + egg yolk
1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp almond extract
A few drops of red food coloring
1 can maraschino cherries; drained, chopped, and dried on paper towels

Combine cream cheese, eggs, and egg yolk.
Mix in sweetened condensed milk, almond, and food coloring.
Stir in maraschino cherry pieces.
Pour over the cookie layer.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Place on cooling rack until completely cooled.

Chocolate Layer:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet; whatever your preference, I used 1/2 and 1/2)
1/2 cup whipping cream 

In a saucepan melt butter and chocolate chips until all is blended and no chips remain.
Let cool for 15-20 minutes.
Stir in the whipping cream until all is incorporated and chocolate is easily spreadable.
Pour over the cherry layer and pop in the refrigerator to help it set up.
Cut and enjoy!


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