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Wild Cherry Chocolate Bars with Sea Salt (Pantry and Freezer Cooking)

While we’re all making do with what we have on hand before throwing on our gloves and masks and heading out to replenish our supplies, I’m doing the deep dive into our freezer. I’m playing with berries, and nut flours and other treats that normally I’d put off playing with.

But, let’s face it – now is not the time to delay immediate gratification. We need all the pretty and delicious things.

And even though we moved a few years ago and have a little bit more counter space, living in a smallish apartment while social distancing from others makes for its own challenges.

For instance, we have one bathroom.

It’s not Jedd’s fault. He always asks if I need to get into the bathroom before he jumps in the shower, and I never do.

Until I hear the water running.


And it’s also not Little Black Kitten’s fault that he needs to use the litter box when I’ve just chugged three glasses of lemon water.


And, it’s no one’s fault that my father died two weeks ago.

So, to sum up, at some point Jedd and I should get a bigger living space with more than one bathroom.

Oh, and we’re all a mess.

It has not been the best few months. Tears are coming pretty easily.

Oh, and there’s a pandemic. That’s a thing too.

Excuse me while I pour a glass of wine.

And by “glass” I mean, a “goblet.”

Currently I need to use the facilities, and my husband and cat are in there. The cat is throwing litter and Jedd is singing some Pavement in the shower.

That’s a comfort.

A little music, a little life.

And while I’m waiting to get into our one bathroom, let me tell you about these bars.

They’re good. I mean, they’re really good.

Berries, chocolate, and butter come together in a medley of pure deliciousness. The wild cherries are some that my mother bought at a farm stand last summer and spent a couple of hours halving and pitting for me as a present.

And folks, that’s a gift in the freezer that just keeps giving.

At any rate, the shower just stopped, and the door opened up. The cat walked out dancing on his delicate paws, and Jedd is toweling off his hair, while making a joke.

It’s been a rough time, but we have flour, berries, butter, music, and good things.

We’re still a mess, but for tonight – we’re all right.

All the best to you too.

Wild Cherry Bars

Yields 9 bars.


1 stick of salted butter melted, and slightly cooled

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup dark chocolate chips

½ cup frozen pitted wild cherries

½ cup roughly chopped frozen mixed berries

1 teaspoon flaky sea salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla.

Stir in the flour and salt.

Fold in the chocolate chips, cherries, and mixed berries.

Spoon into the prepared pan, and even out with an offset spatula.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the ends are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.

Let the pan cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, and remove parchment.

Let cool for 45 minutes before cutting into individual bars. To store, place in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.

(Photos by Launie Kettler)

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