Friday, September 21, 2007

Chocolate-Cherry Fudge Bars




These fudge bars are moist and full of cherry flavor. If you have a sweet tooth, try replacing 2 Unsweetened Chocolate squares with 2 squares of Semi-sweet Chocolate,

4 squares BAKER'S Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
3/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries with 7 Tbsp. of the juice reserved, divided
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar


PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Grease foil. Set aside.
MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add granulated sugar; mix well. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and dry pudding mix; mix well. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cherries and 1/3 cup of the reserved cherry juice; spread into prepared pan.
BAKE 30 to 35 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool in pan on wire rack.
MIX cream cheese, powdered sugar and remaining cherry juice until well blended. Drizzle over cooled dessert; top with remaining 1/4 cup cherries. Use foil handles to remove dessert from pan before cutting into bars. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

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