Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Fresh Cherry-Pecan Bars

Servings: 12-16
Fresh "sweet" cherries are baked into these chewy and irresistible bars. The chopped pecans give them that "crunchy" texture when you bite into one. You can chill them for a day before serving.

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pitted and halved fresh sweet cherries
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 C). Line a square 9 x 9 x 2-inch metal baking pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over sides by 2 inches (you will use the aluminum foil overhang to lift bars out of pan after they have baked and cooled). Butter and flour foil. Set aside.

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, oil, eggs and vanilla; mix on low speed of electric mixer until blended. Mix 1 minute on medium speed. Batter will be thick. Spread half of batter in prepared baking pan. Toss cherries in small amount of flour. Scatter cherries over batter; spread remaining batter over cherries. Sprinkle chopped pecans over top. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. When cooled, lift out of pan using the foil overhang. Cut into 12-16 bars. Store bars, covered with plastic wrap in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Make-Ahead Tip:
These delicious bars can be made 1 day ahead. Cover them (uncut) in pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving. Cut into 12-16 bars and serve.

Makes 12-16 servings.

Chocolate Chip Variation:
Sprinkle 1/2 cup chocolate chips over batter with pecans.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: 207 Calories, 2.2 g protein, 28.2 g carbohydrate, 9.9 g fat (42% Cal. from fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 0.6 g fiber, 88 mg sodium

Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall© 2005

Date: July 17, 2005