Cherry Mash Bars

Recently I visited a local candy store that features old fashion candies.  One of the candies that caught my eye was the once very popular cherry mash© bar.    The cherry mash© bar is an all American candy bar that is made up of a cherry flavored center that is covered in chopped peanuts and chocolate.  The candy is more like a round ball instead of a traditional rectangle bar.

The cherry mash© bar was created in 1976.  The bar is still produced today and is available in select stores.  The bar was once extremely popular and held the title of the best selling cherry bar in the country.  When I saw the cherry bar offered in the candy store, I knew immediately I needed to try and recreate the bar at home.

I knew the cherry mash© bar consisted of just a couple ingredients; cherry, chocolate and peanuts.  My first goal was to recreate the cherry flavored center.  The traditional cherry mash bar center is made up of a cherry flavored fondant.  While I do like fondant and have used it many times, I wanted my cherry mash© bar to have a softer, less chewy center.   I decided to create the center of my bar with a combination of cherry chips, mini marshmallows, evaporated milk and sugar.

The outside of the cherry mash© bar consists of chopped peanuts and chocolate.  Since I am a peanut lover, I wanted to up the peanut flavor in my cherry mash© bars and decided to add peanut butter to outside mixture.  Adding peanut butter gives the bar outside a nice texture and amazing peanut flavor.   The peanut butter also allows the outside to set up nicely and create a bar that is easy to cut.

For the peanut part of the bar, you can either use salted or unsalted peanuts.  I prefer to use salted peanuts to add some balanced flavor to the bar.  And for the chocolate chips, you can use either semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips.  I prefer to use semi-sweet chocolate chips because they are less sweet and allow the cherry and peanut flavors to shine through.  I have included both types of peanuts and chocolate chip choices in the recipe below.

This cherry mash© bar recipe is part of what I like to refer to as my “Off the Rocker” recipe series.  You can read more about my “Off the Rocker” recipes in my “About” page.  In a nutshell my “Off the Rocker” recipes are meant to be insanely rich, crowd pleasing, no holds barred type of recipes.  They are in a sense the Ying that completes my Yang, which would be my healthy recipes.  These recipes are not for the individuals who are diet or health conscious and they are not meant for everyday use but rather for occasional special gatherings.  They stray from my usual use of healthy and no/low processed ingredients.

Cherry Mash Bars

12 ounces chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk)

3/4 cup peanut butter

1 cup peanuts, chopped (salted or unsalted)

1 package mini marshmallows

2/3 cups evaporated milk

2 cups sugar

1 (10oz) bag cherry chips (aka cherry morsels)

In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter.  Add in chopped peanuts, stir well to combine.  In a lightly greased (I prefer spray coconut oil) 9 by 13 pan, using only half of the peanut mixture, spread a thin layer of the chocolate mix across the bottom of the pan.  Set the rest of the peanut mixture aside, and place the pan in the refrigerator so it has a chance to firm up.  

In a medium saucepan, add the cherry chips, sugar and evaporated milk.  Cook the cherry mixture over medium heat, constantly stir until the mixture forms a thick sauce/paste.  Add the mini marshmallows, and while stirring, allow them to melt into the cherry mixture.   Remove the pan from the refrigerator and pour the cherry mixture over the peanut layer.  Spread evenly so it creates a second layer.  Place the pan back in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes to allow the cherry layer to set up.  Remove the pan from the refrigerator and top with the rest of the peanut mixture.  Spread the peanut mixture evenly over the cherry layer.  If the peanut mixture has become too solid, you may need to microwave it for less than a minute so that it becomes a sauce again.  

Cover the pan with foil or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.  Chill until the bars have set up completely and cut into squares.     

cherry mash© – Cherry Mash is a registered trademark of the Chase Candy Company. All rights reserved.

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