Cherry Almond Brown Butter Squares

Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen posted this recipe on her blog years ago, from one that she herself had adapted from Bon Appetit magazine. That recipe called for raspberries, and was baked in a round tart pan so that it could be sliced as a more elegant dessert. I firmly agree that squares are the way to go, which allows one to eat them as a cookie and thus is more of an “everyday” kind of treat. Though, I do sometimes revert to using raspberries when cherries are not in season, or if I don’t feel like pitting them, and recently have had great success with a strawberry / blackberry combo.

Cherry Almond Brown Butter Squares

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
(Adapted from Deb Perelman)
Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen posted this recipe on her blog years ago, from one that she herself had adapted from Bon Appetit magazine. That recipe called for raspberries, and was baked in a round tart pan so that it could be sliced as a more elegant dessert. I firmly agree that squares are the way to go, which allows one to eat them as a cookie and thus is more of an "everyday" kind of treat. Though, I do sometimes revert to using raspberries when cherries are not in season, or if I don't feel like pitting them, and recently have had great success with a strawberry / blackberry combo.
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Servings 16 squares

Ingredients
 

For the crust:

  • ¾ cup (90 grams) all-purpose flour
  • cup (32 grams) almond flour*
  • cup (67 grams) sugar
  • pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • ½ cup (100 grams) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces fresh cherries, pitted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line an 8 x 8” square baking pan with parchment paper (bottoms and sides) and set aside while you make the crust.
  • For the crust, combine the flour, almond flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Mix in the melted butter and vanilla, then press into the bottom of the prepared pan evenly. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden then remove to a rack.
  • Begin making the filling. Brown the butter by placing it in a small saucepan over medium heat. Melt, stirring or swirling the pan, then cook until the butter solids turn brown. It may foam up and be hard to see the brown solids, but the butter will become quiet as it is close to being done. Stir with a heat proof spatula if you cannot see through the foam to check it. Remove from the heat and pour into a heatproof bowl. Let it cool slightly while you continue with the recipe.
  • Pit the cherries using a cherry pitter. Place them evenly spaced in the pan on top of the cooked crust.
  • Combine the sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until there are no lumps. Slowly pour in the browned butter and whisk to combine. Scrape the batter into the pan pouring it around and on top of the cherries.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until firm and cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan. Use the parchment paper to lift it out of the pan, then cut into 16 squares. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Notes

  • To make a nut-free crust, omit the almond flour and increase butter by 1 tablespoon and the all-purpose flour by 5 tablespoons.
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