Cherry Cobbler Bars

The cherries at the market today looked so appealing, I bought them without a plan and baked these cobbler/bars a few hours later by combining several recipes from my favorite cooking blogs.

Servings: 32 bars

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened, divided
3 eggs
1 lb. cherries

2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt, divided

Make crust
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees-F. Melt 7 Tbsp. butter and set aside to cool slightly. Combine melted butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract in a medium mixing bowl. Add 1 cup flour, and 1/8 tsp. salt and mix until dough forms. Line an 8-inch x 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper and grease with 1 Tbsp. softened butter. Pour crust dough into the pan and press with the back of a spoon to flatten the crust and fill the pan. Bake crust for 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Leave in the pan and transfer to a cooling rack until ready to add filling.

Make filling
While the crust bakes, remove and discard pits and stems from the cherries and set cherries aside.  Melt remaining 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter and brown butter by cooking for 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. In a medium mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients: melted butter including any darker solid bits, eggs, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and 1/8 tsp. salt.

Assemble cobbler and bake
Place cherries on top of baked crust. Pour filling over the cherries.  Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before removing from the pan.

Discard the parchment paper. Cut bars and serve. Store at room temperature.

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