Today is National Pistachio Day, though by the time you see this post it's likely the "holiday" will have come and gone. Luckily Pistachio Cherry Chocolate Chip Bars are good any day -- at least if you don't have a nut allergy. Then again, you could always just make them as Cherry Chocolate Chip Bars.
This recipe was given to me many years ago by my friend Josie, who most likely created it for a recipe contest. As the name implies, Pistachio Cherry Chocolate Chip Bars are chocolate chip bars stuffed with all of those things.
Pistachio Cherry Chocolate Chip Bar Dough
They're a slightly more sophisticated and less sweet version of Chocolate Chip Bars, with the "less sweet" part being surprising considering how much chocolate they have. You can use more or less chocolate to taste. One ingredient I've recently incorporated is pistachio extract. It's a nice little flavor enhancer, but the bars are just fine with vanilla-only or a dash of almond extract. In fact I think the almond might even go better with the cherries.
And finally, this recipe is designed for a 9 inch square pan so if you want to double it, use a 15x10 inch pan.
Pistachio Cherry Chocolate Chip Bars
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour** (190 grams)
- ½ teaspoon soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (114 grams)
- ½ cup light brown sugar (100 grams)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon pistachio or almond extract optional
- 1 large egg (50 grams)
- ⅔ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ to ⅔ cup dried cherries
- ½ to ⅔ cup roasted unsalted pistachio nuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch square metal pan with nonstick foil.
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt.
- In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter and both sugars until creamy. Beat in extracts and egg.
- Add the flour mixture and stir by hand until thoroughly blended, then stir in the chocolate chips, dried cherries and pistachio nuts.
- Spread the mixture as evenly as possible in the pan and bake until golden – about 25-30 minutes.
- Let cool completely in the pan, then lift from pan by grasping foil. Cut into squares.