Carob Cherry Crumb Bars #SundaySupper

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars

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.

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars

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.

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.

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: 9 large bars

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

http://piesandplots.net/carob-cherry-crumb-bars-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Appetizers:

Beverages:

Breakfast:

Salads:

Sauces:

Side Dishes:

Soups:

Main Dish:

Desserts:

Plus Rhubarb Steamed Pudding and Favorite Regional Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

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Comments

  1. Oh now these look so delightful!

  2. Liz says:

    I love using dried cherries in my baking—and these have the bonus of coconut! LOVE!

  3. Rachel says:

    I hear ya on living someplace that basically has winter 6 months out of the year. My thing is the wind. So few trees here in SoDak, so there’s nothing to stop it. More than once I’ve literally had my breath taken away by it, and not in a good way! 🙂 I’m glad you decided to go ahead and make these, because the gooey fudgy part sounds amazing!

    • Laura says:

      It is always so windy here too. We often remark about how sometimes it wouldn’t be so bad if there wasn’t so much wind whipping us around.

  4. maria says:

    Winters are a bit long in Montreal also… but I guess we have to make the best of it. Looks like you did with this dessert. Looks great! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. I love the carob or chocolate flavor and cherry combo!

  6. Eileen says:

    Oooey, gooey, fudgey are all good things, especially with cherries.

  7. I just moved to California from Ohio (thought I’m not, nor will I ever be, from Ohio). I’ve got to say, 2 months of grey weather is so much better than 10!
    Now as for these bars, they look so decadent, one bite and you wouldn’t care where you were!

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