Cherry bars are anything but the pits

I recently found cherries on sale for $1 per pound. I was so excited that I bought three pounds.

When got them home, I realized I didn?t really know what to do with three pounds of cherries, so I got online and found some recipes.

The first recipe I tried was a huge hit: cherry coconut bars. Joey liked them so much that he said they may become a dessert he begins requesting on his birthday?and considering how often I bake, that?s a high compliment.

I found this recipe on a blog called ?Barefeet in the Kitchen.? You can find the original at http://www.barefeetinthekitchen.com/2014/07/cherry-coconut-bars-recipe.html. I ended up changing the amounts up in my version to make a bigger pan of these delicious bars.

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Cherry Coconut Bars

Crust ingredients

1 cup melted butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups flour

Filling ingredients

2 cups pitted, diced fresh sweet cherries

2 cups sweetened coconut, plus 1 cup for topping

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 eggs

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.

Mix together the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of the pan.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Set the crust aside so it can cool.

In a bowl, combine the cherries, two cups coconut, brown sugar, flour, salt, eggs, vanilla and lemon. Stir until everything is evenly coated and well-combined.

Evenly spread the filling on top of the crust.

Top with the remaining cup of coconut.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the coconut browns.

*?* *

These were quite the hit when I took them to the office. I didn?t have to worry about very many coming home with me afterward (and the ones that did didn?t last long).

This recipe didn?t use all three pounds of my cherries, but it was a start, and a great start at that.

When not helping husband Joey with newspaper work, Lindsey teaches speech, debate and forensics at Haven High School. She can be reached at lindseyclarion@gmail.com.

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