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Chocolate Cherry Bars

 Chocolate Cherry Bars
These tempting bars are simple to make with cherry pie filling, crunchy almonds and chocolate chips. I took them to a church supper and everyone wanted the recipe. Some people said the sweet treats reminded them of chocolate-covered cherries. -Tina Dierking, Skohegan, Maine
36 ServingsPrep: 15 min. + chilling Bake: 35 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Almond Extract
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped almonds

Directions

  • In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and cocoa. Cut in butter until
  • the mixture is crumbly. Add egg and almond extract until blended.
  • Set aside 1 cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into a
  • greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Carefully top with pie filling.
  • Combine chocolate chips, almonds and reserved crumb mixture;
  • sprinkle over pie filling.
  • Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near
  • the center comes out clean. Cool; refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  • before cutting into bars. Yield: 3 dozen.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 177 calories, 10 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 20 mg cholesterol, 57 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.