My love affair with cherries and chocolate goes back decades to when I was a much younger man. My mother would often treat us to a box of chocolate-covered cherries after doing shopping, and she and I would devour the entire thing on the way home. The richness and sweetness were addictive to me, and still follow me all these years later.
These bars are inspired by those chocolate-covered cherries. The crust is made from the most perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies ever, and the white chocolate ganache that the cherries rest on is reminiscent of that wonderful liquid in those candy drops. These bars are super easy to make – they’re not complicated at all and they’re a perfect bring along to any potluck, group dinner, or summer BBQ.
(This recipe was originally published here on 12/14/2016)
- for the cookie dough:
- butter - 1 cup, softened
- brown sugar - 2 cups
- sugar - 1/2 cup
- eggs - 2, large
- vanilla extract - 4 tsp
- all purpose flour - 3 1/2 cups
- oats - 1 1/2 cups
- baking powder - 1 tsp
- baking soda - 1 tsp
- salt - 1 tsp
- instant espresso powder - 1 tsp
- bittersweet chocolate chips - 2 10 oz packages
- for the white chocolate ganache:
- white chocolate - 3 cups, roughly chopped pieces
- heavy cream - 2/3 cups
- for the topping:
- cherry pie filling - 1 21 oz can
- coconut flakes - 1/3 cup, sweetened
for the cookie dough:
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until combined and beginning to fluff.
- Add the egg and vanilla, and mix for about 30 seconds.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder, then add to the wet mixture and mix together until blended.
- Use a large spoon to stir in the chocolate chips.
for the white chocolate ganache:
- Put the chocolate pieces and cream in a small heatproof bowl over a small pot filled with warm water over low heat. Gently stir with a spoon or rubber spatula until melted and combined.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until thickened.
assemble the bars:
- Lightly grease a 9 ½" x 11" baking dish.
- Spread about ⅔ of the cookie dough over the bottom of the dish. Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes, or until the dough is just set.
- Remove from the oven and spread the white chocolate ganache over the top. Gently spoon the cherry pie filling on top.
- Crumble up the remaining cookie dough and drop evenly across the top of the cherries, then top with the shredded coconut.
- Bake for another 30 - 35 minutes, or until set and golden brown. Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for 3 - 4 hours before cutting into bars.