Saturday, August 6, 2016

Fresh Sweet Bing Cherry Crumb Bars

I had an over-abundance of fresh sweet Bing cherries this summer and I was looking for something to do with them all over the internet. I wanted a small batch of bars that I could adapt to dairy-free. This is my adaptation of a recipe I found (credits below) and it turned out wonderfully. It made just a small 8x8 pan, enough that my family of three could each enjoy three nicely sized bars. And enjoy we did. 

Fresh Sweet Bing Cherry Crumb Bars
Crust/Crumb Layers:
¾ c. all purpose flour
¾ c. ground almonds (I use Bob's Red Mill)
½ tsp. baking powder
½ c. granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg 
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. almond extract
½ c. cold margarine* cut into cubes.

Cherry Layer:
2 c. pitted fresh Bing cherries, cut in half (measuring after pitting)
3 T. white sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. water
1 T raw sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease an 8x8 inch square baking pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl whisk together the egg, vanilla and almond extracts. Then, using fork or your fingers, combine the margarine and egg mixture with flour mixture until combined. Press 2/3 of the crust mixture in bottom of pan. Set aside the remaining for the crumb topping. 

Toss cherries with the sugar, cornstarch and water. Then sprinkle evenly on crust, then top with remaining crumb mixture. 

Bake for 35-40 minutes. The topping will be lightly brown. Allow to cool completely. Cut into squares.
* Smart Balance also makes a great dairy-free butter that works wonderfully in baking. Check it out here: http://www.smartbalance.com/dairy-free.)

(This was adapted to dairy-free from http://www.justsotasty.com/cherry-almond-bars/ I thank Fiona for the inspiration for these bars that were a huge hit in my house!)

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