Chocolate Cherry Bars (and the best batter...EVER!!!)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Pinterest and I have a relationship that will forever last. Nothing can break us. NOTHING! These cookie bars are the thing that solidified that fact. I pinned the recipe for this beauties a few weeks back and in light of attending a dear friend's Oscar gathering last night (list below of who I would share these with and who would be snubbed from the gooey chocolate cherry awesomeness) I decided that was the perfect time to bust out these bad boys.

The original recipe can be found here (Averie Cooks - awesome site!) but I did make a few adjustments and have experimented with different versions of these bars, which all have been just to die for.

First off, the important thing to take from the recipe is just the base of the batter. Egg, flour, sugar, and melted butter. That's it. No, really. That's IT! The first batch I made are the ones that are pictured. I used mini chocolate chips and fresh cherries (halved) with the addition of vanilla extract and salt as stated in the recipe. Turned out great and I was completely satisfied. 

The second time I made them I decided I wanted to use vanilla bean seeds instead of extract. What I did notice as soon as I put the beans in, is that the tiny bit of liquid that extract brings to this is very much needed. You will notice the dryness. So I added just a touch of water and decided next time I want to add vanilla bean seeds I will mix them with that small amount of water and then incorporate it. All the flavour with the help of the liquid. Perfect. This version was also chocolate and cherries.

The third instalment in this series of tests was an unbelievable success and will be making an appearance at Mardi Gras tomorrow. The original batter but without any vanilla and I added my favourite baking friend, Butter-Almond Emulsion courtesy of Lorann Professional Kitchen. But wait, it gets better! Instead of dark chocolate and cherries I added white chocolate and almond slices (I do NOT do macadamia nuts so get over it and move on). I can't even describe what this smelled like. It was heaven. Smellivision has to happen soon (come on Apple!) so I can share this. It was beyond my wildest imagination. So this is what I recommend you try immediately!

There are many other things I think this batter would be good for. From what I have seen this is a great basis to endless baking possibilities. Any type of cookie or bar that you like will work with this recipe. Give it a try with some dried fruits. Maybe some candied ginger? That would give these a cool taste if you mixed them with something else fitting. Try other kinds of fruit. They cook just enough in the oven that you will get a nice juicy texture from them but they won't bleed out into your bar and make it mushy. The bar itself (if cooked properly) is consistently crunchy on the top and then completely chewy in the centre. This why I think the recipe is listed as a blondie but I am going to go ahead an call it a cookie bar. 

So have fun with these babies. They are definitely worth trying and take no time whatsoever to prepare! So have fun and pin your pictures because chances are I will find them without even looking. 

Have a great week and hopefully everyone is taking part in Mardi Gras celebrations!

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