GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Lifestyle

June 26, 2013

One-pan bar cookies feature fruits, nuts

Bar cookies, a one-pan dessert, are ideal for all your summer get-togethers, from barbecues to wedding showers.

I have several kinds that I have made for years now, such as lemon, blueberry cheesecake, and pecan pie bars, but today I wanted to go for something different; I think that I have accomplished that with the two recipes below.’

I know you must have your favorites that friends and family look forward to you baking; if you have any bar cookie recipe that may be more un-common but an absolute favorite, please send it to me.

When fresh sweet cherries are in season this summer, try these:

Cherry Chocolate Bars

Makes 25 bars

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened, divided

21/2 cups packed brown sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs, divided

11/2 teaspoon vanilla, divided

21/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

11/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 cups fresh sweet cherries such as bing, pitted

1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds (lightly toast in small non-stick pan on top of stove)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13-by-9-by-2 inch baking pan with foil.

In mixing bowl beat 1/2 cup of the butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1 cup of brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, occasionally scraping bowl. Beat in 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla. Beat or stir in 11/4 cups of the flour. Stir in oats; set aside.

For filling, in saucepan, stir remaining 11/2 cups brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter over medium heat until combined; cool slightly; stir in remaining 3 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla; lightly beat with a wooden spoon. Stir in remaining 11/4 cups flour and the chocolate.

Set aside three-quarters of oats mixture; press remaining in pan. Spread filling, top with cherries, dot with reserved oats mixture, and sprinkle nuts.

Bake 25 minutes, until top is light brown and filling is moist. Cool on rack for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Lift from pan; cut with a serrated knife.

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