Evenin' friends. It's a sad state of affairs when the most productive thing I did all weekend was 1) bake these puppies and 2) artfully arrange them. But hey, it's Kim's Dare to DIY Challenge and I can't not join in . Otherwise, my productivity level would have been a flatline. So anyway, it's week 3 and the dare is to Eat Cookies. Or Make Cookies. I'm not sure which. Probably both. Well I had been wanting to make these Tart Cherry Cheddar Bars for awhile, mostly because of the cheese factor (literally), so this got my butt in gear. And I like making bars as opposed to cookies because they pass for breakfast food without all the guilt. Yeah, I'll justify my way into anything. Anyway, don't be scared of the cheese. It works wonders with the cherry & the crust. In fact, I implore you to tell me what doesn't work wonders when paired with cheese. Nothing!
Tart Cherry Cheddar Bars
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded*
3/4 cup cherry preserves
1) Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Grease the foil. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2) Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in a food processor. Add the butter and cheese and pulse until the flour is pale yellow and coarse.
3)Press half the flour mixture firmly into the prepared pan. Bake just until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Spread the preserves evenly over the crust, then sprinkle the remaining flour mixture evenly over the preserves. Bake at 325° until the top is golden, about 25 minutes. Place on a wire rack and cool completely, about 1 hour.
4) When cool, use the foil “handles” to lift the bar from the pan and cut.
*According to America's Test Kitchen where I originally saw this recipe, the shredded, bagged cheese actually works better for this recipe, making the crust even crispier than if you grated your own. Imagine that.
nd in case you are in the market for a bunch of awesome cookie recipes, go check out the rest of em here...