Chocolate cherry shortbread bars
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter , cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup dried cherries
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened dessiccated coconut
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 56 g melted white chocolate , or icing sugar (optional)
- FOR base, preheat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly spray or oil bottom and sides of a 9×13-in. (3-L) baking dish. In a food processor, whirl flour with icing sugar until blended. Add butter. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. Or, in a bowl, using a fork, stir flour with icing sugar until blended. Using a pastry blender, 2 knives or your fingertips, cut in butter until coarse crumbs form. Press over bottom of prepared dish. Bake in centre of oven until light golden around edges, 25 to 30 min.
- MEANWHILE, coarsely chop cherries and prepare walnuts. In a small bowl, stir flour with baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk eggs with vanilla. Then whisk in brown sugar until mixed. Gradually stir in flour mixture just until combined. Then stir in cherries, nuts, coconut and chocolate chips. Pour over hot baked crust and spread evenly.
- BAKE in centre of oven until filling is set and edges are deep golden, from 25 to 30 min. Cool on a rack. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before cutting. Bars will keep well tightly covered or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 1 month. Drizzle melted white chocolate over warm bars or dust with icing sugar just before slicing into bars.