Cherry Bars

Last month my sweet friend Bonnie, City Home / Country Home, posted this recipe for Cherry Bars for her 12 weeks of Christmas Cookies. She adapted the recipe from one her mother makes. It’s a not too sweet bar cookie that is topped with pie filling. The batter puffs up around the pie filling creating a pretty almost stain glass look (especially Bonnie’s beautiful cookies.)

Lucky Leaf recently sent me several of their pie fillings to review, including their Premium Cherry Pie Filling. I decided Bonnie’s recipe would be a perfect way to highlight and test out the cherry pie filling. I think it’s a great pie filling. It has a bit more of a citrus flavor than other brands I’ve used in the past, which I liked. I also liked that it has 30% more fruit, which is especially important in this recipe because you dollop a little bit in 24 squares across the batter.

This is a really easy recipe to make. It’s fun to watch the cookie puff up around the filling. I think I may have used more filling than Bonnie and hers look prettier, but I did love having a bit of fruit in each bite. Thanks Bonnie for sharing the recipe. I can see why it’s a family favorite.

I made a couple of changes to the recipe to suit our tastes. Below is my adapted recipe. I’m not crazy about almond extract, so I substituted extra vanilla. I’ve also reduced the amount and type of salt in the recipe.

Cherry Bars

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. of butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large lightly beaten eggs
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 can cherry pie filling (I used Lucky Leaf Premium Cherry)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F. Butter a 17″x12″x1″ sheet cake pan.

Cream the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and mix just until blended. Add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Stir into the creamed mixture just until blended. Spread into the prepared pan. Mark the batter into 24 squares by pressing lightly into the top of the batter with a sharp knife.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of fruit filling into the center of each square. Do not press it into the batter (the batter will puff up around the filling as it bakes).

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the batter is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the batter comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.

Cut into bars and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

This post is part of a 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies blog hog. Be sure and check out all of the fabulous cookies the other 12 weeks of Christmas Cookies bakers baked up this week.