Fresh Cherry Crumb Bars Recipe

This recipe can really be described in just a few words: fresh, sweet cherries, buttery crumb cake, and a hint of almond. It’s sort of a multi-occasion treat – served best warm, or cold, or for breakfast, or for a mid-day snack, or even for dessert… and probably amazing with fresh whipped cream, although I didn’t think to make any before we cleaned out the entire pan. (Twice… I’ve made this two times in the month of July already, it’s that good!)

 

Fresh Cherry Crumb Bars

If I were to change anything else, I’d probably sprinkle sliced almonds onto the top layer of the batter before putting it in the oven. I did add a little splash of vanilla extract and almond extract to the cherry filling,, which wasn’t called for in the recipe but was something I felt it needed. I also omitted the orange zest, as we had fresh squeezed OJ but no zest.

 

Fresh Cherry Crumb Bars plated

Fresh Cherry Crumb Bars

Recipe found on Bakeaholic
Yield: 30 1 1/2 inch Bars

Crust and Topping
1/2 cup brown, packed
1/2 cup white
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of one orange
Cherry Filling
4 cups cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
Zest and juice of one orange

*splash of vanilla extract and almond extract (about 1/2 tsp. each) Optional, but I liked the addition

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

In a large bowl (or food processor), stir together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and orange zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter (or pulse mixture if using food processor) to blend in the butter and egg. [I used my hands to gently mix. It was more fun, and achieved the same consistency.] Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, juice and zest of one orange , *and extracts, if using. Gently mix in the cherries. Sprinkle the cherry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls

Today I realized that out of all the things I’ve made, cinnamon rolls never made it to the list. Shocking, since they are one of my favorite things to eat! I wanted something a little more adventurous than regular ‘ol cinnamon rolls, and noticed I had 2 very ripe bananas on the counter.. it was meant to be!

Given that I didn’t have a “go to” cinnamon roll recipe, I found one for pumpkin cinnamon rolls (which, by the way, looks delicious as well!) since it already had “extra” ingredients in the list and seemed like something I could work with if I wanted to add the banana, etc.

banana chocolate chip cinnamon rolls

They came out great! Hooray!

banana chocolate chip cinnamon rolls

I made a few changes to the recipe, but overall I used it as a guideline, and I did keep the delicious butter & brown sugar glaze!

Here’s the original recipe; I’ll note my changes next to the original text.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Frosting
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (*I used 1/2 cup mashed banana)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (*I did not add)
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (*I did not add)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
2 cups bread flour [you can use regular all purpose flour but bread flour makes them lighter] (*I needed WAY more than this for some reason. At least a full cup more, just to get it to a consistency so that it was not sticking to absolutely everything! Even with the extra 1+ cup flour, the texture of the finished cinnamon rolls still turned out great!)
*1/3 cup chocolate chips (I added this in! I used Ghirardelli 60% cocoa chips)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter
CARAMEL FROSTING
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 dash salt
3/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
Directions
1. In small saucepan, heat milk and 2 tablespoons butter just until warm and butter is almost melted, stirring constantly. In large mixer bowl, combine pumpkin (*banana), sugar, nutmeg (*if using), pumpkin pie spice (*if using), and salt. Add milk mixture and beat with electric mixer until well mixed. Beat in egg and yeast.
2. Add half of the flour to pumpkin (*banana) mixture. Beat mixture on low speed 5 minutes, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Add remaining flour and mix thoroughly (dough will be very soft). Turn into lightly greased bowl, then grease surface of dough lightly.
3. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Spray a surface with cooking spray or turn onto floured surface. Knead a few turns to form a smooth dough, sprinkling with enough additional flour to make dough easy enough to handle. Roll dough into 12×10 inch rectangle.
4. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Brush surface of dough with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture *and chocolate chips (if using. I would recommend them for pumpkin or banana rolls! Yum!) Beginning with long side of dough, roll up jellyroll style. Pinch seam to seal. With sharp knife, cut roll into twelve 1- inch slices. Place rolls, cut side up, in greased 11X17 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.
5. Bake rolls at 350 degrees about 15-20 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan to waxed paper-lined wire rack. Cool 10 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with Caramel frosting. Makes 12 rolls.
Caramel Frosting:
In small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Stir in brown sugar and milk.
Stir in brown sugar and milk. Cook over medium low heat 1 minute.
Transfer to small mixer bowl and cool mixture. Stir in vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and confectioners’ sugar. Beat with electric mixer until well blended. If necessary, add more confectioners’ sugar for desired consistency.