Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cherry Almond Brown Butter Bars

I've done so much baking this summer and am so behind on posting some of these perfect-for-summer-recipes that I'm sort of in a panic to get it all on here. SO, this week will be mostly about baking, and I'll get to the beauty stuff next week- sorry! 

I've been wanting to make these bars for over a year, but had missed cherry season by thismuch so I knew I'd have to be patient until those little red fruits came back around.

Then there's the problem of not having enough cherries for the recipe because 1. cherries are meant to be eaten the moment you buy them, so it's a tough task in saving them and 2. I wanted to ensure there was a burst of sweet cherry popping in each bite, so you need quite a few cherries (36 to be exact).  

I'm not gonna lie, I've never made anything with brown butter before so I was a little intimidated that I'd screw it up, but ultimately brown butter is practically burnt butter, so it's not too hard to create. 

"before"/ pre-baked..............................................hot out of the oven!
These bars are so good! The crust holds these dense bars remarkably, and the cherries and almonds are suspended in the most amazing filling. You can really taste the brown butter in the filling which complements the cherries and almonds perfectly. The filling is a soft-set texture so it's nice to have the crispness of the crust and a crunch from the almonds to offset the richness. I hope you get a chance to make these before cherry season is gone!

Cherry Almond Brown Butter Bars
Barely adapted from here
Makes 16-32 bars

Recipe Notes
- I’m crazy about almonds and cherries as a flavor combination but if almonds aren’t your thing, vanilla extract works great here too and just omit the almonds altogether.
- These are ideally eaten the day you make them. I refrigerated any leftovers and the center-cut bars were a little mushy after a few days in the fridge, but the edges held up well.

For the crust:
7 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. almond extract
1 Cup plus 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

For the filling:
½ Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ Cup sugar
2 large eggs
Pinch of salt
¼ Cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. almond extract
36 whole, pitted cherries (about a pound)
¼ Cup slivered almonds

For the crust: 
1. Preheat over to 375° F. In an 8x8” square baking pan, line with parchment paper.
2. Using rubber spatula or fork, mix melted butter, sugar, and almond extract in a medium bowl. Add flour and salt and stir until incorporated. Transfer dough to the prepared pan, and use your fingertips to press the dough evenly across the bottom of the pan and a little up the sides. Bake the crust until it’s golden, about 18 minutes (it will puff slightly while baking). Transfer crust to rack and cool in pan. Maintain oven temperature.

For the filling: 
3. Cook butter in a heavy, small saucepan (a lighter-colored one will make it easier to see the color changing, which happens quickly) over medium heat until deep nutty brown (do not burn), stirring often and watching carefully, about six minutes. Immediately pour browned butter into glass measuring cup to cool slightly.
4. Whisk sugar, eggs, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add flour and almond extract and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk browned butter into sugar-egg mixture; whisk until well blended.
5. Arrange pitted cherries in bottom of cooled crust and sprinkle the almonds over the cherries. Carefully pour browned butter mixture evenly over the fruit and almonds. Bake bars until filling is puffed and golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool bars completely in pan on rack.
6. Use the parchment paper to carefully remove cooled bars from pan and place them on a cutting board and cut them into squares with a very sharp knife.


  1. These bars are beautiful. Like a cookie focaccia!! I wish we had cherries longer!!!

    1. Thanks Karen, and I agree, I wish cherries had a longer life span too!