Many of you probably know that I live in Michigan … and also that I wish I lived in California.
It’s not necessarily that Michigan is a bad place to live. Okay, in the winter it’s just not my thing. Living somewhere that makes me want to stay inside for roughly six months of the year seems like a bad way to live if you ask me.
But this time of year and into summer and then fall, assuming we don’t go directly from snow to 80s back to snow again, there is something quite nice about it. The bright blue sky, the flowers, hummingbirds, trees, it’s all very nice.
There are many lakes in the area that are beautiful. Ornamental flowering trees are very popular and stunning as they bust out overnight and then slowly transition into leafy behemoths. It’s so nice to head out to some of the hottest new restaurants, in what has become a foodie town.
But at the end of the day, I don’t really think Michigan is where I belong. I feel like my ambition, red lipstick, and Louboutins would fit in much better in California than here where I get odd looks as though I am from outer space … or maybe just California.
Still, I am here in Michigan … for now. In addition to all those other nice things I mentioned, the coming of warm weather brings with it many wonderful foods: ramps, asparagus, blueberries, and of course cherries.
Michigan is the cherry capital. While many varieties of cherries are grown here, it is perhaps best known for tart cherries. I love finding fresh ones, but those aren’t quite out yet, so I picked up some dried tart cherries. They make a great snack, but they are even better in these Carob Cherry Crumb Bars.
I must admit, I didn’t really feel like making these bars the other day and Mom didn’t think they sounded that good. But I had signed up for this hometown celebration Sunday Supper and so I forged ahead.
I am glad I did. These bars … they are incredible. I think they may have been intended to be drier and more shortbread or cake like, but mine are ooey gooey and fudgy. The bottom is a little shortbread-y, while the filling is practically molten with plump dried cherries in nearly every bite. The top is a bit crumbly and sandy with the snap of carob chips.
Chocolate can absolutely be substituted for the carob. Whichever you use, make sure you try these bars, because I promise you will love them wherever you live.
1 ¼ cups dried tart cherries
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
½ cup carob or cocoa powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted
2 cups plus 7 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 tablespoons pineapple vodka
½ cup carob or dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8 inch square pan. Line it with parchment leaving a 2-inch overhang and butter the parchment.
Bring cherries, 2 tablespoons butter, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and the water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in an additional ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Set aside.
Whisk together carob or cocoa powder, salt, brown sugar, coconut, and 2 cups flour. Blend in remaining 2 ¼ sticks butter, cut into small cubes, using a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Press 3 cups of this mixture into the prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, stir together egg, remaining ½ cup granulated sugar, and pineapple vodka until well combined. Stir in the dried cherry mixture as well as the remaining 7 ½ tablespoons of flour. Spread mixture over baked crust.
Stir the carob or chocolate chips into the remaining crumb mixture and spread over the filling.
Bake about 50 additional minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bars comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan. Once cool, lift out of pan using parchment and cut into bars. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen, individually, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!
- Crispy Salmon Bites with Homemade Tartar Sauce by Pine Needles In My Salad
- Loaded Tex-Mex Chile con Queso by The Weekend Gourmet
- New England Style Stuffed Clams by Caroline’s Cooking
- Brandy Old Fashioned by Curious Cuisiniere
- Wine Pairing Recommendations For #SundaySupper Regional Specialties by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
- Breakfast Empanada Casserole by Simply Healthy Family
- Pittsburgh Steak Salad by Seduction in the Kitchen
- Homemade Ranch Dressing by My Imperfect Kitchen
- Tupelo Honey Key Lime Vinaigrette by Family Around the Table
- Alabama White Barbecue Sauce by Cookin’ Mimi
- Delaware Crabs by Delaware Girl Eats
- JoJo Potatoes by A Mind Full Mom
- Long Beans with Coconut by Food Lust People Love
- Old Bay Cauli-Tots by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Southern Collard Greens by Magnolia Days
- Amish Chicken and Noodles by Palatable Pastime
- Boiled Lobster with Drawn Butter by Taste And See
- Bison Steaks with Cranberry Chimichurri by Tramplingrose
- California Beer Steamed Shrimp by Nosh My Way
- Avocado BLT Sandwich by Brunch-n-Bites
- Cali Inspired Fish Tacos by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Cheesy Tex Mex Enchiladas by The TipToe Fairy
- Cola Marinated Steak Tips by Hardly a Goddess
- Corn and Bacon Chowder by Moore or Less Cooking
- Crab-Stuffed Artichokes with Spicy Aioli by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Deep Fried Pizza Roll by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce by The Texan New Yorker
- Copycat Hattie B’s Hot Chicken by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Homemade Quebec Maple Baked Beans by She Loves Biscotti
- How to Make Vegetable Lumpia by Asian In America
- Italian Hot Dog by Simple and Savory
- Mom’s City Chicken by My Life Cookbook
- North Carolina BBQ with Cole Slaw and Hush Puppies by The Freshman Cook
- Philly Cheesesteak Calzones by Baking Sense
- Polish Boy Sandwich by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Spicy Salmon for Tacos by Hey What’s for Dinner Mom?
- Tex-Mex Slowcooker Chicken and Beef Fajitas by Meal Planning Magic
- West Michigan Wet Burritos by Wholistic Woman
- Upside Down Angel Food Cupcakes by Cooking With Carlee
- Austrian Mohnnudeln (Poppy Seed Noodles) by The Bread She Bakes
- Butter Tarts – A Canadian Tradition by Red Cottage Chronicles
- Carob Cherry Crumb Bars by Pies and Plots
- Florida Key Lime Cream Pie by The Crumby Cupcake
- Fried Biscuits by Angels Home Sweet Homestead
- Gooey Butter Cake from Saint Louie! by Our Good Life
- Homemade Butterscotch Krimpets by The Redhead Baker
- San Jose Burnt Almond Cake by Eat, Drink and be Tracy
- Shoofly Pie by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Spanish Bar Cake by Get the Good Stuff!
- Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Plus Rhubarb Steamed Pudding and Favorite Regional Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement
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