Chocolate Cherry Bars

Chocolate Cherry Bars

Growing up we didn’t have too many sweets around. My mother definitely believed in healthy food – most of the time. I do remember an adorable homemade teddy bear shaped cake for one of my early birthdays. However, the baking was really limited once I was diagnosed with my food allergies. No wheat or corn or dairy for almost five years is no walk in the park for a kid. Luckily I could still have most fruit and chocolate. A welcome treat when you can’t have cookies, cakes and ice cream! More than a decade later and I’ve outgrown my food allergies, but one of my favourite flavour combinations is still chocolate and cherries. So with a friend coming to visit over the weekend, it seemed hospitable to do some baking. We didn’t have much in the house so I decided to make shortbread cookies. Of course while my dough was chilling in the fridge, my flatmate came home and dragged me off to the grocery store. While there I spotted a display of sweetened condensed milk for sale and an idea sparked. I deeply love sweetened condensed milk and all bake goods made with it, especially Magic Bars (the recipe on the Eagle Brand can) so I decided to make a version of that with shortbread as the base. My guest hated coconut though, so I needed different flavours and decided on chocolate and cherries. After picking up supplies I came home, rolled my shortbread into a pan and covered it with bits of chocolate and candied cherries before pouring the sweetened condensed milk over it. A stint in my shady oven and out came gooey goodness that didn’t last 36 hours between my flatmate and our guest.

Good thing I snagged photos before they disappeared!

Chocolate Cherry Bars

  • 1 cup butter
  • Generous ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups plain flour
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups candied cherries
  • 200g chocolate, broken into chunks
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  1. Heat the oven to 190C/375F.
  2. Beat the butter and the sugar together until smooth. Stir in the flour to get a smooth paste. Pat into 8 by 8 inch baking pan and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Toss on the chocolate and cherries (mess around with their placement if you’re anal retentive like me) and then pour over the can of condensed milk.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden and set. Once cool, cut into squares.
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