For the Crust:
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1 cup tapioca starch (arrowroot will work as well)
- 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, (diced, plus more for greasing the pan)
- 1 egg
For the Filling:
- 2 pounds cherries, pitted and halved (I just tear them in half)
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch (arrowroot will work as well)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
For the chocolate ganache:
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped (about a heaping 1/2 cup when chopped)
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) heavy cream or full fat coconut milk
Make the Crust and Topping:
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and lightly grease an 8×8 inch baking dish. If desired, you can line it with parchment as well. (Grease both the pan and the parchment if you do)
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, tapioca starch, coconut sugar, vanilla, and salt.
- Add the butter and pulse a few times to start breaking it up. Turn it on for a few seconds, until the butter is incorporated as coarse crumbs.
- Add the egg and turn it on once more, until it just starts to come together.
- Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and wrap it up tightly. Stick in the fridge while you prepare the cherry filling.
Make the cherry filling and put it all together:
- Pit and halve the cherries (I just tear them in half after I pit each one)
- In a large bowl, mix together the coconut sugar, tapioca starch, and lemon juice. Stir in the cherries.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and press 2/3 of it into the greased baking dish, bringing it about 1/2 inch up the sides. Dump in the cherries, and crumble the remaining 1/3 of the dough on top, covering most of the cherry mixture.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cherries are bubbly. If the top starts to get too brown before the cherries are bubbly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
- Allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack before cutting into 9 or 12 squares.
- Drizzle with chocolate ganache. Stick back in the fridge to harden the chocolate, and serve at room temperature.
To make the chocolate ganache:
- Place the chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl and heat the cream to just steaming either in a small sauce pan or in the microwave. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until completely smooth.
You’ll want the bars to be completely cool before you cut them, so factor in time to allow them to chill in the fridge. They are thick so it takes several hours – making them a day ahead is fine, just cover with plastic wrap once they’re completely cold.
Ganache will thicken as it cools, so it’s best to make it shortly before you’re ready to drizzle the bars. Alternately, you can re-melt it in the microwave or over a bowl of steaming water.
Keywords: chocolate covered cherry bars