Cherry Brown Butter Bars
Before we go any further I must confess something about myself: I have a fairly massive sweet tooth. Any time I see something sweet in my vicinity, I have to try it. I love all things chocolate and I will never pass up a good cookie, but my all time favorite desserts are fruit pies, tarts, and crisps. My mouth is literally watering as we speak just thinking of these delicious treats.
Picture this: it's August and Husband and I have just been flooded out of our brand new apartment. We are back with the parents (damn) and while Hubs goes to work, I sit at the kitchen table and waste the days away searching on craigslist for new apartments. I'm about to go nuts (I've seen the same apartments for the last three weeks and they just keep changing the post name), so to take a break I head on over to dear old Deb's for some relief. She must've known my sweet tooth was calling. The top recipe on her site that day was "Cherry Brown Butter Bars" and with that I immediately leave my chair, put on my shoes, and go to the store for some cherries.
A couple of hours later, The Dear One shows up to some killer dessert bars that not only satisfy the sweet tooth but also boost a little bit of "we're-never-going-to-find-a-home" morale. Ahhh, fruit and sugar...I do love you....
A few quick notes before you start this amazing recipe:
-I would seriously consider buying a cherry pitter. They are under $15 (you can get them on Amazon) and they will save you a ton of time. I made this recipe without one, and though it worked, I went out and bought one the next day.
-Deb has a trick for making your own little tart pan at home (so you don't mess up the beautiful crust): cut two pieces of parchment paper and overlap them perpendicularly on the inside of a square baking pan. Voila! Tart pan.
You're ready! Have fun and eat slowly...
Cherry Brown Butter Bars
With (lots of) help from Smitten Kitchen
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced
1 pound fresh and delicious cherries
To make the crust:
Mix melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add flour and salt and stir until combined.
Press the dough into an even sheet at the bottom of your pan. Bake until golden, about 18 minutes. Let cool in pan.
Heat butter in your heaviest saucepan over medium heat and cook until it turns a nice nutty-brown color, about six minutes. Stir often and watch it very carefully--the color change happens quite suddenly and always freaks me out a little. Immediately pour the yummy butter into a glass measuring cup to cool.
Continue on! Mix sugar, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Add flour and vanilla and whisk that baby until it's smooth. Slowly pour the brown butter into the mixture, making sure to blend well.
Arrange your cherries on top of the crust, and pour your butter mixture on top of the cherries. Bake at 375 until the dough is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. (I'm not even going to try and give you time limit because all ovens I use are completely different.)
Wait until they are completely cool to try and cut them. Once cool, remove the bars by gently lifting up the parchment paper over a cutting board. Slide the bars onto the cutting board and cut with a sharp knife. Be careful when cutting through the cherries--those suckers don't really want to cut in half unless your knife is truly sharp. I also have a small obsession with beautifully cut desserts.
Make sure to hide these bars well so your family does not find them. They are dangerous.
p.s. Look for our Thanksgiving recap coming soon (yes, I made yet another cake...)!