Valentine’s Day is made for love. Celebrated by lovers since the days of Chaucer, it is most often associated with true love, though today it is also celebrated as a day of friendship. It is a day made to enjoy cards, cupids, doves, flowers, and candy.
Chocolate has long been the traditional choice for candy on Valentine’s Day. Though Valentine’s Day candy is mass produced and easily purchased, making that special someone a rich and sumptuous dessert will add extra flair to a unique meal.
This easy chocolate cherry dessert is also perfect for children’s Valentine’s Day parties. The bars can easily be cut into small pieces for a large crowd. They are rich enough to satisfy with just a bite or two and make a perfect accompaniment to other party favorites, such as nuts and other small candies.
Recommended Reading: Get started with baking by reading our Ultimate Guide to the Best Baking Equipment for Beginners!
These bars are even easy enough for a child to make as a special surprise for a family member. With a little bit of adult supervision, a child will feel a big sense of accomplishment when this unique gift is presented. A small, decorated paper sack, or antique tin will give the gift a distinctive flair.
Recommended reading: Best Cherry Pitters
Chocolate Cherry Bars
- One-third package of Honey Graham Crackers, crushed to make one and a half cups
- One stick of butter, melted
- One and a half cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- One 10 ounce bottle of Maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
- One half cup of shredded coconut
- One half cup of chopped pecans, optional
- One fourteen ounce can of fat-free sweetened condensed milk
- One heart shaped cookie pan or 9×13 baking pan
Making the Crust
- Crush the Graham Crackers in a plastic bag, using a rolling pin. Put crumbs in a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix well and spread into the heart shaped or 9×13 inch baking pan.
Adding the Other Ingredients
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly across the crust. Top the chocolate chips with the one half cup of coconut, pecans, if desired, and the chopped Maraschino cherries.
- After the chips, coconut, pecans, and cherries are arranged evenly, pour the sweetened condensed milk over all. Use a rubber spatula to even out the milk and cover the top to the edges.
- Bake the Chocolate Cherry Bars at 350 degrees for twenty-five to thirty minutes, until done. The top should be lightly browned and bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and cool the bars completely before serving.
- Bars are best made a day ahead to allow the flavors to mingle.
Storing the Bars
Chocolate Cherry Bars are best stored in the refrigerator after completely cooling. Remove from the refrigerator thirty minutes before serving.
Chocolate Cherry Bars will keep in the refrigerator for approximately one week.
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