Thursday, March 25, 2010

White Chocolate Cherry Bars

I'm going to start this post by reminding you that not everything you or I will create in the kitchen will turn out just as expected. With that being said, I am still willing to share these cookie bars with you because I know what I would do differently, and I'm going to encourage you to do the "right" thing and experiment on your own until you get your own brand of perfection. My brand is on its way.

White Chocolate Cherry Bars
Cookie dough recipe adapted from The Tasty Kitchen's nhsweetcherry
Serves 24
Points 4 per cookie bar

1 cup soft margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoons Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
2 ½ cups flour (give or take a bit)
1 cup white chocolate morsels
1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained, patted dry and roughly chopped

Let's start at the beginning. It's a very good place to start. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

Cream together the butter and the brown sugar to make what I am convinced is the best tasting sugary, fattening flavor paste in the world.

Blend in the vanilla extract, baking powder and salt. Then add enough flour to make a stiff dough.

Press into a well-greased 9×13 pan and sprinkle with chopped cherries.

Bake for 15  minutes. Sprinkle white chocolate chips across the top of the cookie and cherry bar that has formed. Bake an additional 5 - 10 minutes.

Here is what I did wrong the first time I made these cookie bars:

1. I added coconut to the cookie batter. Why? I don't know. I have a recently developed obsession with coconut, and, for some reason, I thought it sounded like a good combo - cherries, white chocolate, coconut. Not such a brilliant idea. The coconut flakes made the cookie bar waaaaay too crumbly and the flavor didn't come through. I scrapped it. So should you.

2. I incorporated the cherries with the cookie dough. While it gave the bars a fun pink color, it also made the dough a bit too moist and crumbly. Combine this fatal mistake with the coconut and it was almost a disaster. By putting the cherries on top, you're creating another flavor layer that's separate but harmonious (you like how fancy that sounds?) with the cookie. It's just a better idea. You'll find this correction in the recipe above.

3. I added the white chocolate chips at the beginning of the baking time. No good. White chocolate chips start to turn brown when they bake on top of a cookie. By the end, I had dirty-looking chips on top. Not exactly fit for sharing. I've corrected this mistake above by cutting the baking time for the chips in half. Good idea.

Even though the first try didn't appear as pretty as I'd like, they were super tasty. I think there was a definite "nom nom" noise as they were eaten. You'll like them, I promise. Give this recipe a whirl. See how it turns out for you. Don't like it? Play with it and create your very own version. If you come up with something magical, let me know. I'll try your recipe, too!

And I promise I won't be offended.

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