Post holiday cheer with these nutty little fruit bars that travel extremely well. Since our cookie-loving son joined the Air Force, I've shipped them as far away as England and Italy.
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup cold butter, cubed
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 jar (6 ounces) maraschino cherries
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted, optional
- In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pat into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the eggs, brown sugar, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Drain cherries, reserving 2 tablespoons juice; set juice aside. Chop cherries; add to brown sugar mixture. Stir in walnuts. Pour over crust and spread evenly. Bake 20-25 minutes longer or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- For icing, combine confectioners' sugar and butter in a bowl. Add enough reserved cherry juice to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over bars. Sprinkle with coconut if desired. Yield: 4 dozen.
Originally published as Cherry Walnut Bars in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2005, p44
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