Sweet Cherry-Brown Butter Bars
Yield: Makes 16 2-inch square bars or 32 2×1-inch bars
  • Crust:
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Filling:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
  • 12 oz pitted cherries or other berries
Make crust:
  1. Preheat over to 375°F.
  2. Line an 8x8 baking dish with 2 pieces of parchment paper, with the bottom one hanging over the edges slightly, place the second one perpendicular to the first. (This will allow easy lifting of the bars when it's cooled.)
  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add sugar and vanilla and whisk together. Add flour and salt and stir until incorporated. Transfer dough to your prepared pan, and use your fingertips to press the dough evenly across the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake the crust until golden, about 18 minutes (it will puff slightly while baking). Transfer crust to rack and cool in pan. Maintain oven temperature.
  5. Make the filling: Cook butter in heavy small saucepan (a lighter-colored one will make it easier to see the color changing, which happens quickly) over medium heat until deep nutty brown (do not burn), stirring often and watching carefully, about six minutes. Immediately pour browned butter into glass measuring cup to cool slightly.
  6. Whisk sugar, eggs, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add flour and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk browned butter into sugar-egg mixture; whisk until well blended.
  7. Arrange pitted cherries, or the berries of your choice, in bottom of cooled crust.
  8. Carefully pour browned butter mixture evenly over the fruit. Bake bars until filling is puffed and golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes (the large range allows for different ovens. Mine only needed about 33 minutes, but the original recipe states 40. Watch carefully!)
  9. Use the parchment paper overhang to carefully remove cooled bars from pan and place them on a cutting board and cut them into squares with a very sharp knife.
Do ahead: Can be made at least a day ahead, and stored at room temperature. Any longer, keep them cool in the fridge.
Recipe by The Baker Chick at https://www.thebakerchick.com/sweet-cherry-brown-butter-bars/