As I have mentioned a time or two [or 50!], my husband is rather fond of cookies. When our house is in a state of no cookies, it makes him a sad, sad man.
So you can probably imagine that he is a huge fan of this time of year.
He doesn’t think of it as “Christmastime”, like the rest of us do.
To Larry, this is “cookietime”. And now that he is retired, he can devote himself even more fully to the testing of whatever new cookies I am trying out for the blog this year. This makes him a happy happy man.
And since it is Christmas time, and I don’t want to end up on the naughty list, I have to admit that this recipe actually is not new this year. It was on my old blog a few years ago, and, as it is infinitely adaptable as to what dried fruit and what sort of nuts you use, it has seen a whole lot of permutations. You could even leave out the chocolate chips if such an insane idea appeals to you.
Sour Cherry Almond Bars are super fast and easy to get in the oven, they keep fresh nearly forever, and they have a deeply satisfying rich and chewy texture. The perfect “filler” cookie for party and gift plates, and they don’t seem at all like a filler, because they are so good. But a “filler” is a cookie that you get baked in a hurry, with little fuss or muss, and in that regard, these are perfect!
- 1 stick [4 ounces] of butter, melted
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup dried sour cherries, slightly chopped
- ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- ½ sliced, toasted almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350º, and generously butter an 8 x 8" pan or flat baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar.
- One at a time, beat in the eggs, and then the extracts.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture.
- Mix in the cherries, chocolate chips and almonds.
- Spread the batter evenly in the pan.
- Bake for about 28 minutes - a toothpick inserted near the center should come out clean.
- Cool in the pan, then cut into squares or rectangles to serve. Store leftovers tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Other suggestions for versions we have really enjoyed are raisins and toasted walnuts, dried apricots and toasted pecans, coconut and roasted peanuts or any combination of these or any other dried fruit and nuts. You can change up the chocolate too – milk or white chocolate instead of the bittersweet. It’s all good!