Rich, chewy and sweet, these blondie-type bars are packed with dried cherries, nuts and chocolate chunks. If you cut the pan contents into 15 bars, they'll measure about 2 1/2 by 3 inches.
Make Ahead: The bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Servings: 15 - 24 bars
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks (not chips)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking oil spray.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Place the cherries in a small bowl, then pour the water over them; let stand while you assemble the dough.
Whisk together the flour and baking soda in a small bowl.
Combine the butter and brown sugar in a medium heatproof bowl; place over a medium saucepan containing a few inches of water. Heat over medium heat until the butter melts, whisking to dissolve the brown sugar. Remove from the heat and cool.
Add the eggs, vanilla extract, corn syrup and salt to the butter-sugar mixture, whisking until blended. Fold in the flour mixture to form a smooth batter, then fold in the nuts and chocolate chunks. Drain the cherries and fold them into the batter; discard their soaking liquid.
Scrape the batter into the baking dish, smoothing it evenly. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean except for a few crumbs adhering.
Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into bars before serving or storing.
Adapted from "The Sono Baking Company Cookbook," by John Barricelli (Clarkson Potter).
Tested by Nicole Schofer.
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