Monday, July 20, 2020

Cherry Pie Bars

  I was recently invited to visit some of my family members who were vacationing at the Jersey Shore. Of course, my first question was "what can I bring?" They said they wanted "a picky uppy dessert", which is a very technical term we like to use and it basically means something such as a brownie, something cut into squares that is easily picked up and eaten out of hand (instead of needing plates, bowls, spoons, etc.)
 Well, I knew right away I didn't want to do anything chocolate since the heat was so relentless. I didn't want to arrive at the shore with a melted mess. So I decided to make these little cherry gems.
 I actually found the same exact recipe on several websites, which usually means that's the go-to recipe, but on every website, the recipe always used a 15x10 sheet pan, and I only have 18x13 sheets. hmm... that won't work. Then I thought, well, usually whenever I make a picky uppy dessert, I use a 9x13 pan... yes, I think sounds like the better option than a sheet pan. So I needed to find a smaller version of the same recipe, or figure out different quantities for all of the ingredients. (Wait, did all of that make sense??) Resizing pans... makes my brain hurt.. anyway... The listed recipe is basically the same as all the rest, and the amounts have been adjusted to work for the smaller 9x13 pan. I think that's usually the pan most people use anyway, so there we go.
 The recipe is SUPER easy to do, and it came together in a snap. Everyone LOVED them, and they were gone in no time at all. Side note, they still wound up becoming a little melty (melty?) because of the 80 mile drive to the shore, but no one seemed to mind the extra gooey-ness!
I know I'll definitely be making them again. You should too!

1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 (21oz) can cherry pie filling

Heat oven to 350ºF.
Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with nonstick spray, line with parchment paper with an inch or two hanging over the edge, and then spray again. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the dough and spread the rest into the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover this layer evenly with cherry pie filling. Drop the rest of the dough by spoonfuls on top of the cherry layer and spread to cover the best you can.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until top is slightly golden. Drizzle with a confectioners' glaze when cool for sweeter bars. Let cool completely or chill before cutting into bars.

For the glaze, I just added water to about a cup of powdered sugar, just a few drops at a time, until it was the right drizzling consistency. (Can use milk or even fruit juice instead of water). I also added a 1/4 tsp of almond extract. Be careful when adding water to the sugar, a little goes a long way, so just add a tiny bit at a time and whisk it together. Same goes for the almond extract. A little goes a long way.
Not a fan of cherries? Try any kind of pie filling you like!

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