Magnolia’s Cherry Squares

Magnolia's Cherry Squares

Hello, hello! Today I’m bringing you a recipe from my favorite bakery in NYC, or anywhere for that matter, Magnolia Bakery. If you aren’t familiar, it’s a very well known bakery here in NYC known mainly for their cupcakes. These cupcakes are so good that at 9 1/2 months pregnant I walked about 10 blocks to get some at 10.30pm (those of you who have been that pregnant know what kind of commitment that is.) I sat in my house and ate two (do not judge me) and at a little after midnight my water broke. So in my personal life, they are somewhat magical. I don’t eat them often, because since the aforementioned pregnancy/water breaking/baby birthing extravaganza I’ve been trying to slim down quite considerably and unfortunately they’re not exactly low cal. These delicious Cherry Squares come from the More From Magnolia: Recipes From the World Famous Bakery cookbook and are a way I can indulge in some Magnolia goodness from my very own kitchen and without many of the calories. I tweaked the recipe a touch, which you’ll see in the pictures, just cutting it down to make only 9 bars instead of the 24 that the full recipe yields, other than that I made no other changes and the recipe with all the original ingredient amounts is what is posted here. They’re made entirely from pantry staples, simple enough to whip together for a week night dessert, tasty enough to pull out if you have company and if you can believe it each 2 inch square is only 138 calories!

MAGNOLIA’S CHERRY SQUARES

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup canned cherry pie filling (it would be delicious with strawberry or blueberry filling also!)
  • Confectioners sugar, for sprinkling before serving
  • Butter flavored baking cooking spray

Magnolia's Cherry Squares

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 13×9 inch baking pan with baking cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat. Add the flour and mix thoroughly.
    Magnolia's Cherry Squares
  4. Spread the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan. With a sharp knife or a toothpick score 24 2-inch squares. Place one teaspoon of the cherry pie filling in the center of each scored square.
    Magnolia's Cherry Squares
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
    Magnolia's Cherry Squares
  6. Cool completely. Sprinkle generously with confectioners sugar just before serving.

Enjoy and if you are interested in checking out more recipes from Magnolia Bakery, pick up the cookbook here, I highly recommend it!

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S’mores Bread Pudding

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This recipe will freak your freak. Freak your freak, I tell you! I made this s’mores bread pudding this past weekend for some friends after dinner and it was a hit. It’s the best of bread pudding (a warm gooey center) and s’mores (crispy, chocolate-y, marshmallow-y goodness.) The whole thing comes together quickly, so you can make them early, let them soak, then pop them in the oven when you’re about 40 minutes from wanting a little slice of s’mores-y heaven. Note: I made mine using some double chocolate chunk cookies that I baked the day before. If you want to do this, I think it makes the consistency of the bread pudding really lovely and keeps the flavors nicely delineated but if you don’t have cookies and don’t want to make them, worry not, increase the amount of chocolate chips from 1/2 cup to a full cup and your bread pudding will be just as good.  I made mine individual with individual souffle ramekins, but you can use a larger dish and make it family style also, just add a half hour to the cooking time. Make it for your next dinner party, you won’t regret it. Better yet, make it tonight. Or just now. Make it now.

S’MORES BREAD PUDDING
serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brioche bread, cubed in 1 inch cubes.
  • 4 sheets honey graham crackers, broken into medium sized pieces
  • 4 double chocolate chunk cookies
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup mini marshmallows, plus another 1/4 cup reserved for later use
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups milk (I use skim but if you like a more custard-y pudding go for whole)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Give your baking dishes a light spray with some baking cooking spray.
  3. Divide the bread cubes, graham crackers, cookies, chocolate chips and first 1/4 cup of marshmallows among your four individual souffle dishes.
  4. In a medium sized bowl whisk together eggs until light and frothy. To your eggs add milk, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. Whisk until well combined.
  5. Transfer your egg mixture to a measuring cup or something with a spout. Pour the egg mixture in each baking dish, do not fill each dish all the way, take care to leave about a quarter inch at the top of each dish. Make sure all bread is soaked, push down with fingers if necessary.
  6. Place baking dishes in a cake pan and allow to soak in the fridge for about an hour.
  7. Remove cake pan from fridge and add about 2 cups of water, or just enough so the water covers the bottom half of each ramekin.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes until set.
  9. Carefully remove dishes from cake pan and set on cooling racks. Allow to cool about 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Before serving divide remaining 1/4 cup of marshmallows among the tops of each souffle dish. If you have a hand held butane torch toast the marshmallows on top until warm and gooey. If you don’t have a blow torch place the souffle dishes in broiler and broil for a minute, just until marshmallows are toasted.  Serve immediately.

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