Cherry Kuchen Bars
(recipe adapted from p. 71 of Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications 100 Best Cookies)
First make the homemade Cherry Pie Filling (my recipe as adapted from Tammy's Recipes.com Cherry Pie Filling)
- 3 cups bing or dark cherries
- 1 1/2 cups pure cane granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water.
Combine fruit and sugar in a large sauce pan and stir together. (If cherries are really firm add up to 1/2 cup of water- mine were very ripe so I didn't add water). Bring to a boil.
Mix 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder with 2 tablespoons cold water. Whisk to make sure there are no lumps.
When cherries are boiling, add thickening while stirring constantly to prevent any lumps. Mixture will thicken and slightly reduce as you continue to simmer it. If it's not thickening to the desire you want add more thickening agent. Continue to stir and allow to bubble until juices run clear or there are no more tiny pink bubbles on top. Make sure you don't over cook the cherries or they will break down. Set aside and prepare your dough
1/2 cup organic unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening (Spectrums Naturals All Vegetable Shortening, Organic)
1 3/4 cup pure can granulated sugar
1/2 tsp homemade baking powder (see previous post)
1/2 tsp Organic Sea Salt
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract (will be making my own from now on using vodka and vanilla beans- bourbon causes migraines)
3 cups Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer beat butter and shortening on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally (or get the new beater that scrapes the sides as you go and you don't have to stop!!!). Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in flour until mixed. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the dough. Press the remaining dough into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1 baking pan.
*I tried a 13x9 the second time I made it and it wasn't the same so stick to the 15x10x1.
*also I didn't grease the first time and I'd grease the sides just because the cherry filling can stick to the side, but I wouldn't grease the bottom because of the shortening in the dough.
Bake the bottom dough layer for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread the pie filling over the crust in the pan. Spoon reserved dough into small mounds over the pie filling.
Bake from 30 minutes more or until top is light brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Icing. Cool; cut into bars. Makes about 32.
Powdered Sugar Icing: In a small bowl combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (Trader Joes Organic Powdered Sugar), 1/4 tsp homemade vanilla extract and enough organic whole milk to make icing drizzling consistency (I used 5-6 tsps. but recipe said to only use 3 to 4).
To store: layer unfrosted bars between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
You're gonna want to make this tonight!!!! Well worth it and tastes great the next day...trust me :)