Cherry "Ripe-Off" Candy Bars

Cherry preserves, chopped sour cherries and coconut formed into bars and covered in chocolate: our spin-off of the Australian candy bar Cherry Ripe.
Cherry Ripe-off candy bar recipe from
Butchie is back! It's about time. In case you have no clue who Butchie is, or your memory doesn't the span the last, oh, say......two months.....Butchie is one of my best friends....who coincidentally fell off the face of the planet when she got herself a wonderful boyfriend. I want to blame her but I can't. He's a good man, and a good man can really outweigh baked and then. *wink* [Sorry, guys. It's all his fault. Then again, there was also Christmas in there, and various trips to Arizona, London and Oregon on the part of both J. and I, so we can't blame it ALL on the poor manly soul. --B.]

So, I had to lure her back. I was thinking candy bars might do the trick, so I posted a call to my Facebook fan page: "brainstorming candy bar ideas. :) what would you do if you made your own?" One comment from Felice at All That's Left Are The Crumbs and we had a fool-proof way to lure Butchie away from her man for a night and back to baking with me. [And who said social media couldn't solve real-world problems? --B.]

Felice recommended the Australian Cherry Ripe, a Cadbury confection complete with cherries, which dear Butchie loves. [More than men. More than Sichuan. More than my hypothetical first-born child. --B.] Especially sour cherries.

Disclaimer: We had no clue what we were doing. We don't live in Australia, have never been to Australia, and have no access to the actual Cherry Ripe bar. So....I can in no way vouch that this recipe will give you anything tasting like the original 7-inch "plank" of dark chocolate, coconut and glace cherries. To the best of our guess, it's a reasonable approximation of the flavors you'd find in the Cadbury bar. [Note that we made ours small, about two bites' worth, and instead of a Bounty-like cooked coconut filling, ours is raw, very finely shredded coconut held together with cherry preserves. --B.]

Cherry "Ripe-Off" Candy Bars

1 cup shredded coconut (we used unsweetened)
3/4 cup cherry preserves, pureed
1/4 cup finely chopped dried cherries (sour if you have them)
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Mix coconut, cherry preserves, and dried cherries together. Adjust dry to wet ratio as needed until you have a paste that can be molded into candy bars. Mold into a quarter inch thick rectangle. Place in freezer for half an hour, then cut into bars.

Melt chocolate chips and pour over bars to cover. Place back in the freezer for five minutes until chocolate is fully set. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.