Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Treats - Day 3

So for today I thought I would share these "Tart Cherry Streusel Bars." And I will hold my comments/thoughts/tips until the end and just share the recipe first off which was a new one for me this year. My family enjoyed this and surprisingly my youngest ds who doesn't even like cherries thought they were tasty so you know they have to be good to get a non cherry eater to like them.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9" square pan with non stick spray

First the base or crust portion
1-1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C (1 stick) of cold unsalted butter (sliced into 1/2" squares)
1/3 C almond (Marzipan) Paste
1/4 tsp almond extract

Streusel Mixture
1 C reserved base mixture
1/2 C sliced almonds

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. (This will make both the base and streusal)
Cut in butter, almond paste and extract with a pastry blender (or your hands) or two knives or pulse in a Cusinart until mixture becomes sandy in texture. Reserve 1 C for the streusel and sprinkle the remaining mixture into a 9" baking pan. Press or tamp down the mixture to form an even layer (you can use a measuring cup or glass bottom to help with this or just use your hands as I did). Bake 15-18 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to turn brown. Remove from the oven (keep your oven on).

For the Cherry Filling
1-1/2 C frozen tart cherries (12 oz)
1/4 C sugar
3 T water
2 T cornstarch
1 T fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
1 T unsalted butter
Pinch of salt

Simmer all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Cook until the mixture thickens and turns translucent, about 8 minutes. Spread filling over the baked base from above.

Sprinkle with the reserved 1 C base mixture and sliced almonds. Bake until filling is bubbly and streusel is lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely and drizzle with icing (optional) then cut into bars.

1/3 C powdered sugar
2 T heavy cream
1/4 tsp almond extract

Whisk all ingredients together. If need be add more sugar or cream to get desired consistency for drizzling.

So now for my comments. I could not for the life of me find frozen tart cherries and in hindsight I don't know why they had to be frozen? I actually used frozen bing cherries and added some tart cherry concentrate that I bought from King Arthur and if I had to do this over again I wouldn't use the bing cherries. Not because of the flavor but because bing cherries are bigger than a pie cherry and when layered on the base they were a bit messy to cut and eat. So IMO you could easily use a can of cherries if you can't find the frozen ones and for that matter if you wanted to short cut this recipe why not just use pie filling other than I would rather have everything homemade but there is no reason you have to. So there you have it. Happy Baking and enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment