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Chocolate Cherry Almond Bars (Two Ways!)

Cherry obsession still in full swing, here.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Bars (Two Ways!) | spachethespatula.com #recipeStill eating them by the handful, still putting them in sandwiches, and now I’m shoving them in cookie bars, which just might be the best way to enjoy them, yet…especially since I also shoved almonds and chocolate into said bars.

I made two different versions, and then couldn’t decide which I liked better, so I’m sharing them both! You don’t mind, do you?

Chocolate Cherry Almond Bars (Two Ways!) | spachethespatula.com #recipe Chocolate Cherry Almond Bars (Two Ways!) | spachethespatula.com #recipeOne version has Bing cherries, big, bittersweet chocolate chips, and almonds, and the other has Bing cherries, itty-bitty semi-sweet chocolate chips, almonds, and crunchy, crumbled Amaretti di Saronno cookies. Both versions also have a bit of instant espresso granules in them, because I love the way it tastes with the almond. Just trust me on this one, it’s awesome.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Bars (Two Ways!) | spachethespatula.com #recipeIf you’re not familiar with the Amaretti di Saronno cookies, they’re basically little, crunchy, Italian, almond-flavored cookies. They super duper tasty. One time, I used them to top a pumpkin pie, and it was the best pumpkin pie, ever. I buy them from a specialty grocery store in my area, but if you can’t find them local to you, they do sell them on Amazon!

I actually brought both versions of these Chocolate Cherry Almond Bars to a Fourth of July party at our friends’ Helen and Kai’s house, and we served them with homemade vanilla ice cream and my favorite hot fudge. They were very well received!

These are good warm, cold, and room temperature, and they keep for like a week either on your counter in a tupperware, or in the fridge. You want these in your house! Or, maybe you don’t. Because then you’ll be eating multiple per day, like me. But, I regret nothing! These are so freakin’ good!

Chocolate Cherry Almond Bars (Two Ways!) | spachethespatula.com #recipe Chocolate Cherry Almond Bars (Two Ways!) | spachethespatula.com #recipe Chocolate Cherry Almond Bars (Two Ways!) | spachethespatula.com #recipe

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Chocolate Cherry Almond Bars (Two Ways!)

Yield: 16 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp instant espresso granules
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup golden brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

for 1st version:

  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli 60% baking chips)
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 heaping cup whole Bing cherries, pitted

for 2nd version:

  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate mini chips
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 heaping cup whole Bing cherries, pitted
  • 1 cup crumbled Amaretti di Saronno cookies (about 12 cookies)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a square baking dish (either an 8"x8" or 9"x9") with nonstick spray, line with parchment paper and spray the paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, espresso granules, and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and and sugar for a couple minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix on medium-high for 5 minutes until creamy and smooth (the sugar should be pretty much dissolved). Add in the flour mixture and mix until not quite combined (only a few seconds).
  4. Choose either version 1 or 2 and add in the chocolate and almonds and mix until combined. Add in the cherries and mix for just a couple rotations (you don't want the cherries to get smashed and bleed all over the dough).
  5. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. If you're going with the second version, press the cookie crumbles into the top of the dough.
  6. Bake for 25-35 minutes. The bars should look set, but still be gooey in the center.
  7. Allow to cool completely before slicing (you can even stick them in the fridge to chill faster and make slicing a bit easier).

recipe adapted from here

Chocolate Cherry Almond Bars (Two Ways!) | spachethespatula.com #recipe

   

5 Responses to “Chocolate Cherry Almond Bars (Two Ways!)”

  1. TheGastronomicBong — July 7, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Rachael! Chocolate cherry bars are absolutely gorgeous… loved both the variations… Chocolate cherry bars with ice cream and hot fudge sounds divine… 🙂

    • Rachael replied: — July 7th, 2014 @ 11:12 am

      Thank you so much! They're kinda addictive. I mayyyy have had one for breakfast, this morning. It count since there's espresso powder in them, right? Hahah

  2. Sarah — July 8, 2014 at 5:10 am

    I am totally obsessed with cherries too right now. I can hardly stand how amazing these bars look, Rachael! Choc and cherries is pretty much the tastiest combo on the planet. I want a handful ASAP. 🙂

    • Rachael replied: — July 8th, 2014 @ 11:26 am

      I totally agree! I loooove chocolate and cherries together (though somehow I'm not a huge fan of Black Forest Cake). I so can't get enough cherries haha!

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