I really love bar cookies, and I hadn’t made any in a while. They’re so easy to make but you can really do a lot of interesting things with a fairly simple bar cookie. They’re quick, too, as long as you have some time to let the bars cool before cutting!
These bars were posted on Facebook and the combination sounded so good. But I love blondies, so how bad could they be? The original combination of flavors was dried cherries, milk chocolate chips, and salted cashews. But this type of cookie is ripe for improvisation, and I used what I had. I did use dried cherries, and for the chips I used a combination of semi-sweet chocolate chips and a chopped up chocolate almond bar. I didn’t have any cashews, so I toasted whole almonds and used those instead.
The dough for these is quite sticky, and I worried that I hadn’t used enough flour but they were fine. It wasn’t the easiest to spread them in the pan, but if you’re patient it can work. I baked these a little longer than the original recipe stated, and they don’t brown very much so it was tricky to tell when they were done. They are a soft cookie, so I just went by the browned edges and they did set up some as they cooled. The flavors in these go together so well, but I bet they might be even better with cashews!
Cherry Chocolate Almond Blondies
¾ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
1 ½ cups milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup dried cherries, chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour and salt. Stir just until the dough almost comes together. Add the almonds, chocolate and cherries and stir on low until the dough comes together. The dough will be fairly sticky. Spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the bars a lightly browned along the edges and a thin knife inserted in the center of the bars comes out clean. Allow to cool.
Lift the bars from the pan and peel away the foil. Cut into squares.
Recipe from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody