Recipe © 2013 by Shirley Fan and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press
These rich, buttery cherry crumble bars have the perfect combination of sweet, tart and salty qualities. Instead of using a shortbread base, I use oats to give the bars some extra texture, heft and flavor. Individually wrapped or packed in a tin, these bars are a good choice for short transit times; they will stay fresh for seven days.
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup good-quality red cherry preserves, such as Hero brand
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving extra for overhang; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add both extracts and mix again until combined. Add the flour, oats, salt and cinnamon; mix on low speed until combined. The mixture should be loose and somewhat crumbly.
- Press two-thirds of the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the preserves on top. Scatter the remaining crumb mixture over the top. Bake until the preserves are bubbly and the crust is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Let cool in the pan. Remove the bars from the pan by grasping the edges of the parchment paper, and cut into 16 squares. Wrap the bars individually with waxed or parchment paper or plastic wrap, seal with tape, and pack in a zipper-top plastic bag or other container. Alternatively, layer unwrapped bars in an airtight container, separating the layers with waxed or parchment paper. These bars also do well stacked in cellophane bags tied closed with a ribbon.