Cherry Chocolate Oat Bars

Welcome back to QCK

It has been a week! Okay, actually nothing crazy has happened compared to a usual quarantine week, this one has been exciting. One, because I recently did some late night online shopping and my packages showed up (I forgot I ordered them so it was sort of like Christmas in July). Two, because the chair I ordered also happened to show up 10 days early! It’s exciting for me, okay? But theee most exciting thing that’s happened this week is that I was featured in a Minnesota Monthly article! It came as a total surprise, but a really nice one.

If you ask me, all these little wins deserve a celebration. What better way to celebrate than with a Sunday Bake! I’m making these Cherry Chocolate Oat Bars, because I’ve seriously been thinking about them allll week.

I don’t normally bake with cherries, mainly because I love them so much just as they are that I can never bring myself to use them for anything else. But as the season is coming to an end, sometimes you get a bag that’s just not so great. This recipe is the perfect way to use them.

These are so, so simple but they hit the spot. Perfect for a midnight treat or to go with your morning coffee. Sweet cherries on top of a warm, cinnamon oat crust, topped with a crumble that turns just perfectly crispy (but still soft) in the oven. To finish it off and balance out the sweetness, the entire pan gets drizzled in semi-sweet chocolate and sprinkled with flaky sea salt. These might turn into a Sunday bake ritual until cherry season is over. I know they are for me.

Substitutions and Add Ons

  • Cherries can be fresh or frozen. They can also be substituted for blueberries or raspberries.
  • Coconut Oil can be subbed for canola or vegetable oil.
  • If you’re gluten free be sure to use gluten free oats and sub AP flour for a substitute, like Cup4Cup.
  • You can also add: other stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, apricots), berries, white or dark chocolate, nuts such as almonds or pistachios.

Recipe

Prep: 15 MinsCook: 1 hrCategory: Baking ProjectsServings: 9

Ingredients

  • 2.5 C Cherries
  • 3 Tbsp Water
  • 1/4 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Corn Starch
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/4 C All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 C Rolled Oats
  • 1 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, room temp
  • 1/4 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil
  • Sea Salt, for garnish

Directions

  1. Prepare the cherries by washing and removing the stems and pits. You can use either a cherry pitter or use a small sharp knife to cut the cherry in half around the pit and remove it.
  2. Cut the cherries into halves and quarters.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, water, sugar, corn starch and lemon juice. Stir well.
  4. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally until it starts to bubble and become syrupy, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and cool to at least room temperature.
  6. In the meantime, make the oat crust. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  7. Add butter and using a pastry cutter, a fork, or clean hands, combine the mixture until a moist crumble forms.
  8. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper.
  9. Press 3/4 of the oat mixture into the bottom of the pan to form an even crust.
  10. Place an even layer of the cherry filling on top of the crust and then crumble the remianing oat mixture on top.
  11. Bake 35-40 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown.
  12. Cool 10-15 minutes.
  13. In a microwave or double boiler, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together, stirring occasionally.
  14. Drizzle the chocolate over the cooled oat bars and sprinkle with sea salt to finish.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you tried it out let me know in the comments. For more recipes check out my homepage and follow along on Instagram. Don’t forget to like, follow, comment and share. Thanks for reading! 

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