At an event like Oktoberfest, where lots of beer may be consumed, it's nice not to worry about cutting and plating a cake. These super chocolatey portable bars can be set out at the start of the party, and guests can enjoy them at their leisure without utensils. For the make-in-advance recipe, please keep reading.
1 1/4 cups dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks), all but 2 tablespoons cut into small pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (about 3 ounces), lightly toasted
2 cups plus 7 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 tablespoons kirsch (optional)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
Vegetable oil cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray; line with parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Coat with cooking spray.
- Bring cherries, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and the water to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until almost all liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Let cool, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved.
- Whisk together cocoa powder, salt, brown sugar, toasted coconut, and 2 cups flour in a bowl. Blend in remaining 2 1/4 sticks butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal; press 3 lightly packed cups cocoa mixture into prepared pan. Bake until just set, about 20 minutes.
- Put egg, remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and the kirsch, if using, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; mix on medium-high speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Fold in cherry mixture and remaining 7 1/2 teaspoons flour; stir in chocolate. Spread mixture evenly over crust; sprinkle with remaining cocoa mixture.
- Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Run a knife around sides; lift out of pan. Cut into squares. Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.
Makes 9 large or 1 dozen small.
- Desserts, Other