In case you hadn’t noticed, I seem to have an affinity for the whole “cherry + chocolate” combination. I know, it’s not for everyone, but I’ve made cookies, pies, granola bars, and even Hot Cross Buns at Easter on the theme of Cherry-Chocolate. So here I am with *yet another* recipe: Tart Cherry Dark Chocolate Crumble Bars. Super easy to make (no mixer required) and can be made year round as I use jarred cherries anyway. Snack time!
for the crust and topping
1 cup plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to just warm
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
3 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour
for the filling
2 1/2 cups tart cherries, de-pitted and chopped (I used jarred, without the juice)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water or cherry juice, if using jarred cherries
1 cup bitter sweet chocolate chips
Create a foil or parchment sling for your 9 x 13-inch baking dish or spray generously with baking spray.
In a medium bowl, mix together butter, sugar, salt, and egg yolks with a spoon until smooth. Add in the flour and mix until just combined. Remove 2 cups of the crust mixture and press into the lined pan. Set the unused portion of the crust aside covered with plastic wrap, but not in the refrigerator. Place the pan in the freezer for 30-60 minutes or so; the chilling of the crust prevents it from expanding and rising too much during baking.
Preheat oven to 325F.
While the oven is preheating and the crust is chilling, make the cherry filling. Combine cherries, sugar and water or cherry juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium and continue simmering for 8-10 minutes, mashing the cherries against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
Remove the crust from the freezer and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until the sides are lightly browned. Then remove from the oven, and increase oven temperature to 350F. Spread the cherry jam on top, and sprinkle the leftover crust mixture on top along with the chocolate chips. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the streusel is lightly browned.
Allow the pan to cool completely before taking the bars out of the pan. Remove the bars by lifting out with the sling and cut.