Cherry. Pie. Bars. Everything I love in one insanely delicious dessert! I’m yet to make a cherry pie, it’s in my future plans (my list is forever long though so we’ll see how soon it comes), but for now I thought these looked just as good as a cherry pie but more modern and simplistic. Bars are the “it” thing you know :). I should start a bakery dedicated to bars. No, really it would just be fun to have a cupcake, cake and cookie bakery one day, but I’m not ready for the work that would take now. Besides, I think I would enjoy blogging and sharing recipes more.
These bars are destined for greatness. Who wouldn’t loves these? And I love the shortcut of the store-bought cherry pie filling. Normally I snub a lot of store bought stuff when it can be homemade, but cherry pie filling, yes from a can, I actually love it. It sort of reminds me of maraschino cherries which I also love.
The flavors of these bars are summer bliss. You get a buttery almond flavored cookie like batter which is topped with that simple yet incredible cherry pie filling, then it’s topped with more dollops of the batter and it’s baked to light golden perfection. But wait, it doesn’t end there. It’s finished with a rich and creamy vanilla almond flavored glaze. Indeed you are going to love these.
Cherry Pie Bars
Yield: About 16 servings
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/2 (21 oz) cans cherry pie filling
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 2 1/2 - 3 Tbsp half and half
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish (for thinner bars use a 15 by 10-inch baking dish). In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, then blend in vanilla and almond extracts. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Reserve and set aside 1 1/2 cups batter then spread remaining evenly into prepared baking dish. Top with cherry pie filling spreading into an even layer. Dollop small spoonfuls of the remaining batter evenly over top. Bake in preheated oven about 30 - 37 minutes (near lesser time for 15 by 10 baking dish and greater time for 13 by 9). Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the glaze:
In a small mixing bowl whisk together all glaze ingredients adding enough half and half to reach desired consistency. Pour into a resealable bag, seal bag and cut a small tip from one corner then drizzle over top of cooled bars. Allow glaze to set (to set it quicker chill in freezer) then cut into squares.