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Merry Cherry Bars Recipe

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.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 45 min. YIELD:36 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • FILLING:
  • 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

Directions

  • 1. 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.
  • 2. 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.

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 179 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 28 mg cholesterol, 108 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.