These luscious bars, filled with cherries and almonds, really suit the Christmas season. I sometimes put a cup of coconut in a clean jar with a few drops of red food coloring. After a few shakes, I have tinted coconut to sprinkle on top.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup cold butter
- 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup finely chopped almonds
- 1/2 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries, drained
- CHERRY ICING:
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 cup cherry juice blend
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- In a bowl, combine flour and confectioners' sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine brown sugar and eggs; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture. Stir in almonds and cherries. Spread over crust. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until bars begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool on a wire rack. In a small bowl, beat icing ingredients until smooth. Frost bars. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Merry Cherry Bars in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2001, p31
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