Cherry Garcia Bars

Shortbread crust with chocolate and cherries make this Cherry Garcia Bar recipe absolutely delicious!  The brown butter flavor plays up the flavor of the fresh cherries. 

Cherry Garcia Bars
Cherry Garcia Bars

I only recently discovered Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream, which must make me the last person on the planet to do so as it is their number one selling flavor. A few weeks ago on a particularly hot summer day the husband and I roamed over to the nearest 7-11 to pick up some ice cream treats and I paid a whopping $3 for a Cherry Garcia ice cream bar. While stupidly over-priced, it was also stupidly delicious.

When a big box of bing cherries found their way to my doorstep (Thanks, Harry & David!) I decided that they needed to be sacrificed to the Cherry Garcia gods. I took what was left over after making the Elderflower Sangria and spent the next hour painstakingly halving and pitting every last cherry. Throughout this process I had a brilliant idea to invent a gadget which would pit cherries for me, only to find that I’m also the last person on the planet to hear about the wonderful invention that is a cherry-pitter. Hold on while I add that little baby to my Amazon wish list…

Okay, I’m back.

After my fingers were stained blood red and I’d successfully developed a case of carpal tunnel, the cherries were prepped and ready to go.

I made a shortbread crust and a brown butter filling to contain all of the ooey-gooey cherry-chocolate madness.

Cherry Garcia Bars

The brown butter flavor really adds a layer of complexity to these bars and plays up the flavor of the fresh cherries.

 

Cherry Garcia Bars

Waiting for these babies to cool was by far the most difficult part of the process.

Ohhhh yeahhhh (make sure you read that with the Kool-Aid man’s voice).

 

Cherry Garcia Bars

 

The delicate buttery flavor of the shortbread works so well with the complexity of the brown butter. I’m considering making a cranberry and cream cheese version with a graham cracker crust when the holidays come back around.

Cherry Garcia Bars

 

Be still my heart!

Makes: 1 serving  (just kidding…. or am I?)

Makes one 9×13 pan, typically 24 bars.

Here’s the Recipe!

Cherry Garcia Bars

Cherry Garcia Bars

Shortbread crust with chocolate and cherries make this Cherry Garcia Bar recipe absolutely delicious!  The brown butter flavor plays up the flavor of the fresh cherries. 

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the shortbread crust:

  • 3/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • Caviar from half of a vanilla bean
  • 2 c. plus 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

For the filling:

  • 1 c. unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 c. white sugar
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. bourbon (or try almond extract)
  • Caviar from half of a vanilla bean
  • 4 c. cherries, halved and pitted
  • 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate pieces, roughly chopped (all I had were chocolate chips, but it would have been much prettier with hunks of baking chocolate!)
  • 1 Tbsp. all purpose flour

Instructions

    1.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with parchment paper, letting the paper come up the sides.

    2.  Take the 3/4 c. melted butter and mix with 2/3 c. white sugar and the vanilla bean caviar in a medium bowl. Add the flour and salt and mix with a spatula until combined. Dump the dough into the prepared baking pan and press into shape using your fingers.

    3.  Bake the shortbread crust for 17-19 minutes, or until golden and puffed. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Keep the oven on.

    4.  Meanwhile, toss the cherries with a heaping spoonful of all-purpose flour.

    5.  Dice the remaining cup of butter and place in a small heavy-bottomed pot. Heat over medium for 6 minutes, stirring constantly. The butter will foam, turn clear, and then turn a golden brown color. Remove from heat and pour into a glass liquid measuring cup. (Don’t be like me and pour it into a drinking glass without a handle and then burn yourself trying to pick it up.)

    6.  In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a regular bowl and hand mixer), use the whisk attachment to combine the sugar, eggs, and salt. Add half of the flour, then the bourbon, the rest of the flour, and the vanilla bean caviar.

    7.  Once smooth, slowly pour in the browned butter with the mixer running to incorporate into the mixture.

    8.  Arrange your cherries and chocolate on top of the cooled shortbread crust. Pour the filling mixture evenly over the top. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 28-32 minutes, or until the top has turned golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

    9.  Cool for fifteen minutes in the pan, then use the parchment paper to remove the bars from the pan and place on a rack to cool completely.

    10. Once completely cool, use a serrated knife (bread knife works great) to cut into bars. Store bars in the fridge if you don’t consume them all within 24 hours.

Nutrition

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228|Total Fat: 16g|Saturated Fat: 10g|Trans Fat: 0g|Unsaturated Fat: 6g|Cholesterol: 67mg|Sodium: 55mg|Carbohydrates: 21g|Fiber: 1g|Sugar: 17g|Protein: 2g|

Nutrition information has been auto-calculated for your convenience.

Did you make this recipe?

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July 29, 2013 | Last Updated on April 23, 2021 by Linda

18 thoughts on “Cherry Garcia Bars”

  1. A straw works wonders are a cherry pitter, if you ever find yourself needing one!!
    My daughter and I are making these today during our Summer Baking extravaganza, and I can’t wait to taste them!

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Brown Butter Butterscotch Blondies - The Wanderlust Kitchen
    • Hi, Karen! Vanilla bean caviar is the sticky black inside of a vanilla bean. If you don’t have whole vanilla beans, you can substitute with a tablespoon of vanilla extract. I’ve never tried this with gluten free flour, but you might check out http://www.alldayidreamaboutfood.com – she has lots of great ideas!

      Reply
  3. Pingback: Best of 2013 | The Wanderlust Kitchen

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