Luckily for Andrew (and me), he did not ask me to make him Pâté de Canard en Croûte, because frankly I can't even joint a chicken properly, or at all in under an hour and a half, and while I adore the process of making pastry it just doesn't seem right to wrap something already as succulent as duck in buttery dough. He did hint towards the possibility of the artichokes and citrus butter sauce (though for the longest time I've only heard him say he hates the veggies), so we shall see! He didn't even get to taste these beauties, because by the time I got to see him they had already been wrapped up tightly in heavy-duty foil and masking tape, labeled with a thick scrawl of Sharpie and found their way into the sweet-tooth-driven clutches of my mom's old office workers. I can't really blame them for the speed at which they inhaled them though - when you have this perfect marriage of ingredients it's impossible to resist. I tell you, it was painful to shut the door of the oven and not lick the spoon, though I did polish off the remaining cherries that escaped the pan!
So as my humble contribution to the Nutella challenge at Bell’alimento, I give to you these condiment-heavy bar cookies: a thick, salty oatmeal and peanut butter batter base, tart but sweet Ranier cherries with a sugar-laden Nutella brownie crown... they're like the best childhood sandwich you've never had. Or maybe you were one of the lucky ones... feel free to re-live it!
Cherry - Filled Peanut Butter Nutella Bars
1 1/2 cups pitted and halved cherries
1 tbsp flour
2.5 oz flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
2 tbsp warm water
3 oz flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp custard powder (optional, or substitute dry instant pudding mix)
1/3 cup Nutella
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp hot coffee or espresso
- Preheat oven to 325F, grease a 9" square pan.
- Toss cherries in the flour and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the first amounts of flour, baking powder, salt and oats.
- Beat together peanut butter, brown sugar, oil, flaxseeds and water in a medium bowl.
- Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Spread in the prepared pan.
- Scatter cherries in an even layer overtop.
- In a small bowl (you can use the same ones from the previous steps, no need to wash) combine the second amount of flour, sugar, baking powder, custard powder and salt.
- In the medium bowl mix Nutella, vanilla and coffee.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir just to blend.
- Pour over the cherries and peanut butter layer.
- Bake on the lowest rack of the oven for 35-40 minutes, until tester comes out with slightly moist crumbs.
- Chill before cutting and serving.
Total Fat: 6.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 57.0 mg
Total Carbs: 28.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
Protein: 3.0 g