Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cherry Crumb Bars

Finally! A day to myself. I've been working from 10 to 7 every day so I haven't had time to cook real meals for myself or bake at all! Ridic. It'll be a lot better from now on (hopefully) because there was a lot of preparation that had to be done for the start of classes tomorrow. So today, I got up and started baking right away. I've been searching for a recipe with cherries all week because I still had some left from last week. Whole Foods had a sale and of course I had to buy! But they didn't taste as great as I had expected so after finishing off the first bag, I saved the second for baking. I finally decided on these Cherry Crumb Bars from Cafe Fernando.

By the way, I think before I even buy cherries again, I will pick up a cherry pitter. Yeah.

I followed the recipe exactly, but next time, I might cut down on the sugar a bit. It wasn't overly sweet, but it could definitely use less. And maybe push the cherries down a bit instead of just placing them on top of the cake batter.

Cherry Crumb Bars

For the crumb topping:
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp butter, cold and cut into small cubs

For the cake:
- l pound (2 1/2 cups) cherries, pitted
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup powdered (confectioners') sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking pan (9-inch square or what I used, a 7x11) by lining it with parchment paper, leaving a bit extra on the sides for easy removal of cake from pan.
2. To make the crumb topping, mix flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add cold butter to the flour mixture and pulse until the butter cubes are pea-sized and coated with flour. Do not let the dough come together in a ball. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. To make the cake, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time. With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture.
4. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with pitted sour cherries and top with the crumb topping.
5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in pan. Remove cake from pan and cut into 16 bars.

Cherry Crumb Bars
Cherry Crumb Bars
Cherry Crumb Bars

Uh, mine definitely did not turn out as pretty, but I think it was still tasty. (It also made me feel better as I was watching England lose to Germany - see, baking cures.) The cherry provides a nice tart, juicy flavor, while the crumbs and the soft cake bottom was a nice contrast of texture. Now to see if my parents like it. They are usually my taste-testers and the only ones that are here to eat my baked goods anyway.

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