Thursday, August 3, 2017

Cherry Pie Bars #FilltheCookieJar

Last month our daughter, Nicole, and her husband, Pierre, blessed us with two gallon size bags filled to the hilt with tart cherries from the tree in their backyard.

I went to work and the first thing I made was a wonderful Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream. Then I made this delicious Cherry Cheese Braid.  

I turned the rest into Homemade Cherry Pie Filling, returned them to one of the bags and stored them in the freezer.

When it came time to Fill the Cookie Jar this month, I remembered those cherries sitting in the freezer. The only problem was....the theme for this month is Grandma's Cookies.  

My Grandma never made cookies using cherry pie filling and if I wanted to make cookies like my Mom used to make for my kids, I would have to go to the refrigerator section of the grocery store and get busy cutting up prepared dough and putting it in the oven.

Then, I thought, "Hey, I'm a Grandma".  I think I can make my own cookies and they are going to count.  And if they don't.....oh well, I would rather apologize afterwards than ask permission before hand LOL.

I had made Cherry Pie Bars  a couple of years ago and still remembered them fondly.  I knew that I wanted to do something similar this time around, changing it up a bit to make it my own.

I made a shortbread to use as the bottom crust or bar part of the recipe.  Reserving some to sprinkle on top as a streusel.

I combined the reserved shortbread batter with some roughly chopped raw almonds.   I love the cherry/almond flavor profile and always use almond extract in my cherry confections rather than vanilla.

I spread the cherry pie filling over the shortbread crust, using about 3 cups to cover it completely.

Then I sprinkled the entire surface with the Shortbread/Almond Streusel, placed it in the oven and let it bake until golden brown.

I had lined the baking pan with foil for easy removal.  I allowed the cookies to cool right on the foil before drizzling them with an easy peasy glaze.

When the glaze was set, I cut them into bars and placed them on a platter to serve up as a wonderful dessert to my family who had been visiting from out of town.

These are a perfect cookie to take to your next pot luck or to pack in your child's lunch box.  They are easily made with canned cherry pie filling.  They look like they take a lot of work but they are easy and only take a few minutes of active participation on your part. 

Cherry Pie Bars II

3 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 t. almond extract
3 sticks butter, chilled and cut into tablespoon pieces
3 c. cherry pie filling
1 c. raw almonds
1 c. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
1/4 t. almond extract

Place flour, sugar, salt, 1/4 t. almond extract and butter in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until crumbly.  Remove and reserve 1 cup of this mixture.  Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of a 9"x 13" pan that has been lined with a 18" piece of aluminum foil.  Crimp the ends of the foil that extend past the pan into handles.  Bake in a preheated 350* oven for half an hour.

Meanwhile, add the almonds to the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.  Combine with reserved shortbread mix.

Remove bottom layer from the oven.  Cover with the canned cherries.  Sprinkle the streusel over the top and return to the oven for another 40-45 minutes, until golden brown.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Lift out by using the handles of aluminum foil and let cool completely.

While bars are cooling, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and almond extract.  Drizzle over the cooled bars.  Let glaze set before cutting into 24 pieces. Print Recipe

More Amazing Cookies


  1. I don't have cookie recipes from my Gram only my mom and most of those are from Betty Crocker! lol These bars are a great place to start a tradition!

  2. I need someone to gift me with cherries so I can make some wonderful goodies like you did. Especially these cookies. shortbread, cherries, nuts, heaven.

  3. My oh my... my mouth is watering! Excuse me while I wipe up my drool. Cherries, almonds, shortbread with a sugary goo on top? Fantastic! Thanks

  4. Oh my goodness those cherries look amazing.

    1. I know Paula. I'm already planning what I should make next year.


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