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Cherry Meringue Topped Cookie Bars

I adapted this recipe from www.lickmyspoon.com. This recipe looks long but it’s actually very easy to make, all you need is to have everything in order – “mise en place” – no special ingredients, just a hand mixer. Give it a whirl!

Ingredients

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with 2 pieces of parchment or foil, lined crosswise and spray with nonstick cooking spray. This will make it easy to lift out the bars when cooled.

Prepare Cookie Dough

  1. Add the first 4 dry ingredients to a small bowl, blending with whisk then set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl using a hand mixer cream the butter and both sugars until smooth. Blend in the egg yolk then add the water and vanilla and mix just until blended.
  3. Turn mixer on low speed and gently add in the flour mixture, mixing just until well blended.
  4. Add the dough to the prepared baking dish and press the dough evenly to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and nuts over the dough and gently press them into the dough. Set aside.

Make Meringue

  1. In a clean bowl using a hand mixer begin mixing the egg whites on a slow-medium speed until frothy then begin medium high and add in the 2 tbls. cherry juice. Continue mixing until the eggs reach firm peaks.
  2. Using a silicone spatula spread the meringue on top of the cookie dough, trying not to touch the edge of the parchment of foil lining. Place chopped cherries on top of the meringue any way you like. — IMPortant TIP: To prevent the meringue from burning, cut a piece of parchment paper to fit on top of the meringue while baking – spray one side with non-stick spray placing that side on top of the meringue and cherries. Tap gently to be sure it stays on.
  3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, REMOVE the parchment paper and continue to bake for another 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then remove using the liner to lift out the bars. Cool on wire rack, cut in squares to serve.
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