Bourbon Cherry Milk Bars | TENDING the TABLEIt seems that summer is upon us. The weather has been crazy warm around here and it’s time to bust out the popsicles and ice cream. I’m one of those people who gets overheated quickly which often results in little tantrums and big headaches, so I love having tasty frozen treats around to help me chill.  These bars are a little fancier than my usual “throw some fruit in a blender and freeze it” method, but well worth it. The boozy cherries balance the sweet cream and the chocolate cookie coating adds a rich nutty flavor as well as a fun crunchy texture.

Bourbon Cherry Milk Bars | TENDING the TABLEBourbon Cherry Milk Bars | TENDING the TABLEBourbon Cherry Milk Bars | TENDING the TABLEBourbon Cherry Milk Bars | TENDING the TABLEThis recipe was inspired not only by the warm weather but also by Ashley Rodriguez’s amazing cookie mix. Back in October I took a workshop with Ashley and shortly after that, this blog was born. I am so grateful to Ashley for her continuous encouragement and mentorship as I learn how to navigate the wonderful and sometimes crazy world of food blogging. Ashley not only has a fabulous blog and cookbook, but developed the perfect salted chocolate chip cookie mix. This week I’m excited to be promoting her cookie mix by using it in an original recipe for the Not Without Salt and Marx Foods Cookie Mix contest. The winner will be selected at an event on June 30th here in Seattle. Check out the event page for more details.Bourbon Cherry Milk Bars | TENDING the TABLEBourbon Cherry Milk Bars | TENDING the TABLEBourbon Cherry Milk Bars | TENDING the TABLEBourbon Cherry Milk Bars | TENDING the TABLEBourbon Cherry Milk Bars | TENDING the TABLEBourbon Cherry Milk Bars | TENDING the TABLEBourbon Cherry Milk Bars | TENDING the TABLEBourbon Cherry Milk Bars | TENDING the TABLEBourbon Cherry Milk Bars | TENDING the TABLEBOURBON CHERRY MILK BARS WITH CHOCOLATE AND COOKIE CRUMBS

Makes 10 bars

INGEREDIENTS

FOR THE BARS

1 cup cherries, pitted

1/3 cup sugar

juice from 1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons bourbon

3 cups coconut milk

1/4 cup sugar

1 vanilla bean

1/4 teaspoon salt

FOR THE COATING

1 tube of Not Without Salt, Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

3 tablespoons coconut oil

PROCEDURE

FOR THE BARS

Combine the cherries, sugar, and lemon juice in a small pot and bring to simmer. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the cherries are soft and plump. Remove from the heat and stir in the bourbon.  Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile split the vanilla bean lengthwise and using the dull side of a knife, scrape the seeds into a blender. Add the coconut milk, sugar, and salt and blend until smooth. Chill completely.

Strain the cherries (reserving the liquid for another use…bourbon cherry soda anyone?) and coarsely chop them.

Fill your popsicle mold with the coconut milk, leaving 1/4 inch at the top. Drop a small spoonful of the chopped cherries into each mold  then stir the cherries in using a chopstick.

Freeze the popsicles for 3-4 hours.

FOR THE COATING

Prepare the cookie dough according to the instructions on the tube, reserving the chocolate and flaky salt. Bake at 360 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and firm. After baking the cookies allow them to cool completely. They should be dry and crisp. Grind the cookies in a food processor into a fine crumb.

Place the reserved chocolate and the coconut oil in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water and melt, stirring occasionally until smooth. Set aside to cool.

DIPPING THE BARS

Once the popsicles are completely frozen, run the mold under hot water until the popsicles begin to loosen. Remove them one at a time and dip them in the room temperature chocolate. Immediately sprinkle them with the cookie crumbs and a pinch of flaky salt. Place the finished bars on a sheet pan lined with plastic wrap and return to the freezer until ready to serve.