Sunday, January 24, 2010

Maraschino Mania

Whenever I went to my grandparent's house as a kid, there would always be three jars in their fridge that I would raid without fail - the tiny dill pickles, the delicious sweet and sour cocktail onions and the ever -present jar of hot pink maraschino cherries. Though I would gorge myself on the fresh dark red ones during the summer months when our family splurged on things like peaches and cherries for our boating trips, I always associated the taste of "cherry" with the sugary, dye-injected fruit. Rather than top ice cream or garnish a drink (except for my ritual Shirley Temples at Swiss Chalet!), I would simply grab a spoon and dig in. Oh the life of a child!

Obviously, things have changed a wee bit since then - I now like all my fruit as fresh as possible, and the days of finding a jar of any fruit floating in sugar syrup in any of my relative's houses are long behind us (who'da thought it'd be on the no-no list for diabetics? *rolls eyes*). Come to think of it, I don't recall seeing a maraschino cherry on my swizzle stick the last time I had a Shirley Temple either!

But it was the incredibly pretty "Coconut-Cherry-White Chocolate Bars" that I spied on Baking Delights (Marye has a great contest going right now too!) that drew me back into the fold of the hot pink treats. They are definitely a "girly" kind of cookie, being filled with not only the cherries but super sweet white chocolate and delicious coconut too! These are nothing short of a sugar overload, though, so beware - or, you know, don't... because really they are just that awesome. I've made them twice so far, for bakesales, and as soon as people see the pink and white polka-dotted surface they grab them up (especially after they discover the bonus of white chocolate and coconut!). Since the whole V-Day thing is coming up (should you be so inclined to buy into all that) I bet a pan of these and some roses would go over well after a nice dinner - whether you do it for your mate or your single self!

White Chocolate Maraschino Bars
Adapted from Marye Audet (Baking Delights)
Makes 32
1 cup flour
1 tbsp sweet rice flour (optional, for tenderness)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup diced, drained maraschino cherries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350F, grease and line a 9x13" pan with parchment.
  2. Combine flours and powdered sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Cut in butter and shortening until the dough mealy. Stir in lemon extract.
  4. Press into the bottom of the pan in a thin layer.
  5. Bake 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk 1/4 cup flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  7. In a large bowl, beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well blended.
  8. Stir in the flour mixture, followed by the coconut, cherries, and white chocolate chips.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Chill before cutting and serving.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 95.8
Total Fat: 5.0 g
Cholesterol: 17.5 mg
Sodium: 17.3 mg
Total Carbs: 11.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 1.2 g

1 comment :

Thanks for the feedback!