Friday, February 6, 2015


I have spent two days this week cleaning the main level of our house. I mean really cleaning. There was a fine layer everywhere from when Sterling sanded the ceiling in the bathroom with the "dustless sander". That tool is definitely misnamed. But the wooden floors look so good now. 

While I was moving furniture all around to mop the floors, I replaced one skinny shelf unit I had in the dining room with a bigger one. (I really need a place to put all those cookbooks I buy at estate sales.) Anyway while filling it up, I found a file of recipes from back in the 80s when I used to cut out recipes "to try later". (Do you have one of those files? I actually have more than one.) Distracted, I took a few minutes to look through a few of the recipes and found a "booklet" with 7 Great Ways to Make It Chocolate! with Hershey's Recipe Sampler. 

I really wanted to make the Hot Fudge Pudding Cake, but decided to make the Chocolate-Cherry Squares instead. It called for red candied cherries and I had bought some around Christmas to make my mother's Fruitcake Cookies (that never got made...but I digress). Since I also had all of the other ingredients needed for recipe, I decided to make them to serve when friends came over yesterday afternoon to play canasta.

Friend Sharon said they were the best (dessert) I had ever served. I guess she wasn't kidding. After she got home, she called me to say she had gone on my blog but the recipe wasn't there. I told her it would be there tomorrow. 


1        cup flour
1/3    cup butter or margarine (I did use margarine)
1/2    cup packed light brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup brown sugar blend)
1/2    cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
         Red candied cherries, halved (I had 9 halves as I cut it into 9 squares.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a large mixer bowl combine, the flour, butter/margarine, and brown sugar. Blend on low speed to form fine crumbs, about 2 minutes. 

TIP! This is the best and fastest way to "cut in" butter or margarine when you want to make a crumb mixture. I didn't soften the margarine at all. If you are using butter, you might want to put it in a bowl in the microwave for 10 seconds first since it is harder. You don't want it melted. It held together so well when it baked, too. So glad I found this recipe.

Stir in the nuts.

Reserve 3/4 cup of the crumb mixture for the topping.

Sprinkle the rest of the mixture in the bottom of a 9 - inch square pan.

Pat the mixture down.

Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling:


1        package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese. It is soft as it is and doesn't require any thing for it to be softened. I think fat free cream cheese would work as you bake the squares.)
1/2    cup sugar (next time I will use 1/4 cup stevia/sugar blend)
1/3    cup cocoa
1/4    cup milk
1        large egg
1/4    teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4    cup chopped red candied cherries

In mixer bowl, combine and cream cheese and sugar and beat until fluffy. (I let mine beat while I meticulously chopped the red candied cherries.)

Add the cocoa, milk, egg, and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Add the cherries.

Spread the filling evening over the warm crust. Making sure the cherries are spread out.

Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over the filling.

Garnish with cherry halves. (The recipe says it makes 3 dozen squares and the picture shows a cherry half on each square. If they cut 36 squares they should have called the recipe Chocolate -Cherry Bites because that's all you would get...a bite. The servings for 9 was just perfect.)

Return to oven and bake for 25 more minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool on a wire rack.

Cut into squares.

Store, covered, in refrigerator. ( Since I was making this in the morning for us to eat in the afternoon. I covered the pan with foil and put in the refrigerator until I was ready to serve it.  It was about 5 hours in the refrigerator, It was good cold so I would do the same again when I made it. 

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