Thursday, July 28, 2011

Listen to Your Recipes

I had originally planned to do a posting today on my favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies. But that all changed when my mom gave me a big bag of ripe red cherries over the weekend.

Don't they look simply delicious?

After eating as many as I could, I started thinking about other ways to use them up. Then I remembered a recipe posted by Smitten Kitchen- Cherry Browned Butter Bars. Perfect. (and I had everything needed to make them in the house!)
Here's the recipe! (Link to Smitten Kitchen's recipe with pictures)

7 Tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
Pinch of salt

1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick butter
1 pound sweet cherries, pitted

Make crust: Preheat over to 375°F. Line the bottom and the sides of an 8x8 inch pan with parchement paper. (Please please please do not skip this step! I did because my pan is non stick but see what happened below!)
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the sugar and the vanilla. Add the flour and salt and stir. Plop it into the pan, and press the dough evenly across the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust until golden, about 18 minutes. Transfer crust to rack and cool in pan.

Make the filling: Cook butter in heavy small saucepan  over medium heat until deep nutty brown (do not burn!!), swirling the pan and watching carefully, about six minutes. Immediately pour browned butter into glass measuring cup to cool slightly.
Whisk sugar, eggs, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add flour and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk browned butter into sugar-egg mixture; whisk until well blended.
Arrange pitted cherries, or the berries of your choice, in bottom of cooled crust. Carefully pour browned butter mixture evenly over the fruit. Bake bars until filling is puffed and golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes (it only took 35 minutes, and they were a little too brown) Cool bars completely in pan on rack.
Use the parchment paper overhang to carefully remove cooled bars from pan and place them on a cutting board and cut them into squares with a very sharp knife.

Now, mine turned out a little bit browned but the topping isn't overcooked at all. Just please please please line your pan with parchment! I didn't because I thought that the nonstick coating would be enough. It wasn't. The crust stuck horribly and I had to chisel it out. I think the dark pan also made the crust cook and darken more than a lighter pan would. What I managed to chip off tasted delicious though and I will just eat these bars out of the pan and follow the directions next time!

Here's the (delicious) carnage.

I definitely encourage you to try these and don't limit yourself to just cherries! I think blackberries or blueberries would also be wonderful.

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