Browned Butter Cherry Bars

I’m having a hard time keeping up with all the beautiful produce this summer. Well, that might not be an accurate statement… We’ve been eating amazingly this summer. But I haven’t been baking very much. When I found a bag of cherries in my cart at the store, I knew I’d be baking with them.

Browned Butter Cherry Bars

Hubby snacked on a quite a few of the cherries, but he didn’t get his way through all of them before I whipped up these Browned Butter Cherry Bars. As with anything you put browned butter in, these bars had a great caramely nuttiness from the browned butter.

Browned Butter Cherry Bars

The cookie crust on these bars is buttery and crisp. the cherries really shine through their ripeness. I went ahead and cut them into smaller rectangles as opposed to regular sized squares. I honestly couldn’t stop snacking on these little bars.

Browned Butter Cherry Bars

Three Years Ago: Family Favorites Cookbook
Four Years Ago: Banana Nut Bread Mini Muffins and Breakfast Pizza
Five Years Ago: Blueberry Lemon Basil Cupcakes

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Browned Butter Cherry Bars

Yield: 16 bars

Ingredients:

For the Crust
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp flour
Pinch of salt

For the Filling
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1 pound sweet cherries

Directions:

For the Crust
Preheat over to 375°F. Cut two 12-inch lengths of parchment paper and trim each to fit the 8-inch width of an 8×8-inch square baking pan. Press it into the bottom and sides of your pan in one direction, then use the second sheet to line the rest of the pan, perpendicular to the first sheet. (It should look like this.) Congratulations! You’ve just faked a square tart pan.

Using rubber spatula or fork, mix melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl, or if you’re Deb, in the bottom of the small saucepan you used to melt the butter. Add flour and salt and stir until incorporated. Transfer dough to your prepared pan, and use your fingertips to press the dough evenly across the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust until golden, about 18 minutes (it will puff slightly while baking). Transfer crust to rack and cool in pan. Maintain oven temperature.

Make the Filling
Cook butter in 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.

Whisk sugar, eggs, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add flour and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk browned butter into sugar-egg mixture; whisk until well blended.

Arrange pitted cherries, or the berries of your choice, in bottom of cooled crust. Carefully pour browned butter mixture evenly over the fruit. Bake bars until filling is puffed and golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes (though, of course, this took less time in my hyperactive oven so please watch your baking times carefully). Cool bars completely in pan on rack.

Use the parchment paper overhang to carefully remove cooled bars from pan and place them on a cutting board and cut them into squares with a very sharp knife. The cherries, if they fall over your slicing lines, will want to give you trouble but if you saw a sharp knife into them slowly before pressing down, they’ll cut neatly and with minimum carnage.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

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30 Responses to “Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake”

  1. #
    1
    CB — March 30, 2008 at 4:57 am

    I love the idea of perfect party minicakes!! They look delish! Great job! That flour picture is so funny. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that – flour on the counter, on my KA, in my hair, on my face!
    Clara @ I♥food4thought

  2. #
    2
    Nemmie — March 30, 2008 at 5:10 am

    Yum! Love the raspberry/lemon combo, and the mini cakes are adorable 🙂

  3. #
    3
    Morven — March 30, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Well done – what an innovative variation. They look so cute!

  4. #
    4
    Maryann — March 30, 2008 at 11:49 am

    I can totally relate to the slippery effect.
    Your cake looks beautiful!

  5. #
    5
    Sheltie Girl — March 30, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    You did a lovely job on all your mini cakes.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  6. #
    6
    slush — March 30, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Adorable! Your KA and mine would be best friends. ‘Chuck’ is always filthy. Poor guy. He gets cleaned up, just to be coated again. 😉

  7. #
    7
    Ben — March 30, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    How cute! Making mini-cakes is a great idea. Next time I make this cake I will try that, I still have a HUGE cake in the fridge I need to eat :-/

    Cheers!

  8. #
    8
    ~Amber~ — March 30, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Great idea on the mini cakes. They are really cute. Great job. To the next challenge we go.

  9. #
    9
    Carrie — March 30, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    beautifully done!!! love it!!!

  10. #
    10
    Jerry — March 30, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    I love the little cakes! Plus the raspberries! Yummy!

  11. #
    11
    L Vanel — March 30, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    The mini cakes look really amazing!

  12. #
    12
    Allergy Mom — March 30, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    The minicakes are wonderful! Now, you’ll need my address to send one…Libby 😉

  13. #
    13
    Butta Buns — March 30, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Love the idea of the mini cakes, that’s so adorable!

  14. #
    14
    Bridget — March 30, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Mini-cakes are definitely more work than one large cake! They’re so cute though.

  15. #
    15
    Nikki — March 30, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    What a cute idea! They look adorable!

  16. #
    16
    Gail — March 30, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    I love desserts in miniature and your mini cakes look beautiful. I think I will most definitely be making mini cakes sometime in the near future – thank you for the wonderful idea!

    ~gail

  17. #
    17
    Claire — March 30, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    I’m loving the mini versions! The cake looks fantastic. Mmmmm!

  18. #
    18
    Peabody — March 30, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    I made mini ones too. I hate to tell you but it is way easier to frost a whole cake than mini ones. 🙂
    Looks great.

  19. #
    19
    Beth G. — March 30, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Beautiful!! You did a gorgeous job :O)

  20. #
    20
    Namratha — March 30, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    These individual cakes look pretty…well done!

  21. #
    21
    Lesley — March 31, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Really cute idea to make individual cakes, I love that. Great job!

  22. #
    22
    jasmine — March 31, 2008 at 12:58 am

    I adore your minicakes. V lovely.

    j

  23. #
    23
    leafy bombshell — March 31, 2008 at 2:23 am

    Oh! the minicakes are just the best idea ever. I probably should have done that with my oh-so flat cakes. How great.

  24. #
    24
    Ritsumei — March 31, 2008 at 3:57 am

    Mini cakes -what a great idea! I think I’m going to have to try that here pretty soon. Looks like a delicious lot of fun. Especially the part where you get to eat the scraps. I think this cake was some of the best I’ve had.

  25. #
    25
    ruthEbabes — March 31, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    What cute little mini cakes! Aren’t things just better when they’re mini?

    Great work!

  26. #
    26
    Gabi — March 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I love the little cakes and the picture with the raspberry and lemon zest is so enticing!
    Perfect!
    xoxo
    Gabi

  27. #
    27
    Jenny — April 1, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Another messy baker here! And I love the mini cakes – I’m nice to see its as low-tech as cutting circles out of larger pieces rather than trying to bake a bunch of cakes in miniature pans.

  28. #
    28
    creampuff — April 1, 2008 at 1:55 am

    Jen,

    Your little cakes are gorgeous! I too love swiss buttercream … congratulations on a job well done!

  29. #
    29
    JMom — April 1, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    wow, that takes some patience, putting all those cakes together! They are just the cutest though. ~ JMom

  30. #
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    Big Boys Oven — April 2, 2008 at 8:54 am

    so petite and cute!

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