Wednesday, February 4, 2015

National Cherry Month with #FoodieExtravaganza

Welcome back to our monthly Foodie Extravaganza!

If this is your first time joining us, the Foodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient into recipes to share with you and this month that ingredient is a Valentine's Day classic...cherries!  Which means there are 17 delicious & unique cherry recipes waiting for you at the end of this post. Yay!

Did you know that February is National Cherry Month?  Well, it is.  Living here in Michigan, where we grow 75% of the Montmorency Cherries grown in the country, we should all know that.  But I didn't until I joined Foodie Extravaganza and Kaylin of Keep it Simple Sweetie, assigned it as this month's theme.  I always thought National Cherry Month was in July.  After all, that is when we have our big Cherry Festival each year.

Living in Michigan, I use cherries quite often when cooking.  I especially like adding dried cherries to salads, sauces, quick breads and cookies.  I also use them in my oatmeal in place of raisins.  We have companies that specialize in cherry jams, relishes and salsas and they are delicious!  We even make cherry wine and use cherries when brewing our beer.

Did you know that cherries, especially tart cherries as grown here in Michigan, are very high in antioxidants?  Some studies have shown that cherries can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and ease the pain of arthritis.  Those are some pretty impressive statistics!!

Michigan also grows wonderful sweet cherries as well but not nearly as many as tart cherries and while sweet cherries are also heart healthy they don't really come close to matching their tart counterparts.

My eldest daughter, Amy, invited us over for dinner so I volunteered to bring dessert so that I could make this recipe.  It was delicious.  More like a shortbread than a pie but really tasty.  I know that this will be a recipe I will make time and again.  It went together in a snap and can be made ahead of time.

I printed out this recipe from Cooking Classy way back in May and never made them.  I had even bought the cherries for the recipe and they were still sitting in my pantry so when Foodie Extravaganza assigned us all cherries this month it was an easy peasy choice for me.  I adapted Jaclyn's recipe just slightly.  Her recipe was for a 9x13 pan and made 16 servings.  I adapted it to be made in a deep dish pie pan and serve 8.

Cherry Pie Bars
very slightly adapted from Cooking Classy

1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 t. baking powder
scant 1/2 t. salt
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
2 eggs
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. almond extract
1 (20 oz) can cherry pie filling


1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 t. vanilla
1/4 t. almond extract
2-3 T. half and half

Preheat oven to 350*.  Spray a deep dish pie pan with baking spray.  Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Add vanilla and almond extracts.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared baking dish.  Top with cherry pie filling, spreading evenly over batter.  Place dollops of remaining batter over cherry pie filling.  Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.

In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for glaze.  Pour into a sealable bag, cut a small tip from the corner of the bag and drizzle over cooled bars.  Allow glaze to set and then cut into squares. Print Recipe

And here is what other's brought to the party to share with you this month!!

17 Delicious Cherry Recipes


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  1. Ohhhh drool... that looks DELICIOUS! I adore cherry pie filling!!

  2. Cherry wine?! That sounds fun.
    As for your recipe: combining cherry pie and shortbread? you can't possibly go wrong!

    1. I like a dry wine but the cherry wine is very popular around here. The dessert was definitely a keeper.

  3. Shortbread pie in bar form? I'll take a double serving!

  4. What a great dessert, Wendy! Easy to transport too, I'm thinking. This would be a wonderful take-along for a potluck.

    1. Yes it would but I would definitely double the recipe and make it in a 9x13 pan because it will go fast.

  5. Oh I love the Michigan cherries. So amazing in the summer. Your dessert looks really good and like something parts of my family would really love. I will have to keep it in mind for the next get together.

  6. Some really delicious recipes here, Wendy!

    1. Thanks Debra....I love these many wonderful ideas.

  7. I love cherry pie! And this sounds easier than having to make a whole pie. Love it!

  8. How delicious, I'd love to eat this with a big bowl of ice cream!

    1. Yes Laura, we were out of ice cream but it would have been delicious ala mode.


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