cherry brown butter bars

May 26, 2011

in Bars & Bites

To sum up these cherry brown butter bars in a single word, they are glorious. A vanilla shortbread crust is topped by a filling layer that incorporates browned butter and almond extract, which act as a nice counterpoint to the sweet cherries. I’m thankful local cherries abound near me because I suspect these bars will be in rotation until the end of cherry season… I also have visions of an upcoming version with small Italian plums.

I don’t have a cherry pitter, so I used a star pastry tip and a wooden skewer. It took a little time to pit the cherries that way, but the delicious results were worth the effort. The original recipe was intended for an 8-inch square baking dish, though I had no problems adapting it for a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

Cherry Brown Butter Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp flour
1/8 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, diced
3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
4 cups cherries, pitted, tossed with 2 tsp flour

Preheat oven to 375°F and line a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

Mix melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl with a spatula. Add flour and salt and stir until incorporated. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish. Bake until crust is golden and slightly puffed, about 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool crust in pan.

To prepare filling, cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour browned butter into a glass measuring cup to cool slightly. Whisk together eggs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add flour and extracts and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in browned butter; whisk mixture until completely blended.

Arrange cherries over cooled crust and carefully pour filling evenly over fruit. Bake for about 30 minutes, until filling is puffed and golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool bars completely in pan on a wire rack. Carefully lift parchment to remove bars from pan and place on a cutting board; cut into squares using a serrated knife. Store bars in an airtight container up to one day at room temperature, then store any remaining in the refrigerator.

Yield – 32 bars (serving size: 1 bar)
Calories – 178
Carbs – 19

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1 Gina & Martin Maxwell August 4, 2011

We were lucky enough to try these tasty treats. They are glorious! Laura, you have a real gift. We’ll be happy to sample for you any time. Thank you so much!


2 Laura Kasavan August 5, 2011

Glad you enjoyed them & that the exchange was successful! :)


3 what katie's baking May 2, 2012

i’ve never made brown butter bars. these look so good. cherries are my favorite and i love brown butter, so i’m sure i would love these.


4 Valerie May 2, 2012

I wish I’d found this recipe earlier (last summer, earlier)! At least now I’ll know what to do when it’s cherry season! These bars look amazing, and I love your pit-removal method…definitely something I’ll be attempting. :D


5 Tutti Dolci May 2, 2012

It does work, but I have to confess that I got so many requests to make these bars that I invested in a cherry pitter :).


6 Michelle May 2, 2012

Could you make these with dried cherries or do they need to be fresh?


7 Tutti Dolci May 2, 2012

Hi Michelle, I’ve never tried making these with dried cherries. While I do like dried cherries and bake with them frequently, I wouldn’t use them in these bars because I don’t think the finished product would have quite the wow factor. But if you try it, let me know! If you do use dried cherries, I’d cut back on the sugar in the filling since dried fruit is usually sweetened.


8 Dina May 3, 2012

sounds yummy!


9 LP @dishclips May 4, 2012

I like how the cherries are placed in the bars. No need to cut them up.


10 Patty June 19, 2012

How did I miss this !? Now I know what I’m doing with my cherries;-)


11 Paula @ Vintage Kitchen June 21, 2012

I would´ve baked them with the pits and everything! Brown butter and cherries, what a great combination!


12 Tutti Dolci June 21, 2012

They are delicious, Paula! I’d remove the pits though (I love my OXO cherry pitter) so then you don’t have to remember to warn people to be careful ;).


13 Susan Simms July 5, 2014

Hi. I found this recipe and I know it is from a while ago but I was was wondering how long I can store these in the refrigerator and also can they be frozen. I have a party a week from tomorrow and I was hoping to get an early start.

Thank you,


14 Tutti Dolci July 5, 2014

Hi Susan, you can keep these bars up to 2 days in the refrigerator. I don’t recommend freezing them (it may affect the texture of the filling). Here’s an updated version from last year with a graham crust that I love too!


15 Donna Belliveau July 6, 2014

Can you explain how you pitted the cherries with a star tip and skewer? Thank you. These bars sound delicious and I just picked 5 lbs of sweet cherries.


16 Tutti Dolci July 6, 2014

Hi Donna, I followed this tutorial. However, I’ve since invested in a cherry pitter and never looked back. :) OXO makes a great one!


17 Dawn Hannon July 16, 2014

I made these (with the original shortbread crust) for a cookout and then brought the leftovers to work. Everyone loved them. Great seasonal cherry recipe, thank you! I did buy a cherry pitter before making them. Bed Bath and Beyond was sold out of the OXO so I got one from Crate and Barrel that worked like a charm. I will make these again for sure.


18 Tutti Dolci July 16, 2014

Hi Dawn, so glad you liked the bars – thanks for letting me know! Glad you found a cherry pitter – it makes baking with cherries much easier! :)



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