Black Forest Bars

These bar cookies were inspired by my Double Blueberry Lemon Bars. They are easy to make and don’t have to be refrigerated after baking. One note of caution: do not use frozen cherries! They will turn to mush and take the cookies with them. If fresh cherries are not available, just skip them. The cookies are good with just the preserves.

1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 extra large egg, room temperature
1 18 oz box chocolate flavored cake mix
1 cup cherry jam or preserves
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and quartered
3/4 cup chocolate morsels

1. Preheat the oven to 350° and lightly grease a 9×13″ baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, blend together the cooled melted butter and room temperature egg. (Both must be close to the same temp to avoid scrambled eggs.) Blend in the cake mix to form a stiff batter with no dry pockets, then gently press two thirds of the batter into the baking dish to form an even crust. Reserve the other third of the batter.
3. Spread the cherry preserves over the crust then evenly sprinkle on the fresh cherries and chocolate morsels. Crumble the reserved batter over all.
4. Bake the bars for 50 minutes, then check their progress. When the bars are firm and set in the middle remove the bars from the oven. These cut most easily when just slightly warm. Wipe off your knife between cuts.

Servings: 24

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