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Cherry Dessert Squares

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 Cup, Divided All Purpose Flour
  • 5 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, Room Temperature
  • 2 Pounds Canned Red Pitted Cherries
  • 1 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4-5 Drops Red Food Coloring
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts (Almonds)

Cherry Dessert Squares

A celebration of cherries in an easy to make dessert bar.

1 Hour, + Cooling Time

Serves: 12-18 Bars

Easy

An easy shortbread crust is the base for a wonderful cherry topping that is full of flavor and whole cherries.

Cherry Dessert Squares Ingredients

Cherry Dessert Squares, a delightful treat reminiscent of a cherry pie but in convenient bar form, offer a quick and easy dessert option. Featuring a simple yet delicious shortbread crust and a luscious cherry-packed topping, these squares come together effortlessly. The only slight challenge lies in the two-step baking process, requiring a temperature adjustment between each step. Serving these squares warm with a generous scoop of ice cream enhances their indulgent appeal.

In Grandma’s original recipe, she suggests adding chopped nuts to the topping mixture. Personally, I adore the combination of cherries and almonds, so I recommend incorporating half a cup of slivered almonds for an extra layer of flavor. Adding a splash of almond extract alongside the vanilla extract elevates the taste even further.

For optimal enjoyment, allow the squares to cool for about 10 minutes after baking before serving. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. Simply reheat before serving and don’t forget to top them off with a scoop of ice cream!

These Cherry Dessert Squares are perfect for entertaining a crowd or satisfying a craving for cherries. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you give this recipe a try – feel free to share your feedback in the comments or tag me on Instagram (@bdhbakes) with a picture of your creation!

Cherry Dessert Bars Recipe Card

Steps:

  • Preheat Oven to 325º 
  • Cream Butter and Sugar 

    In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and powdered sugar. Start on low and gradually increase speed to medium and mix together until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.

    Cherry Dessert Bars Butter and Sugar
    Cherry Dessert Bars Creamed Together
  • Add Flour 

    To the same bowl, add 1 Cup of flour. Mix on low until all the flour is incorporated and you don't see any dry spots.

    Cherry Dessert Bars Add Flour
    Cherry Dessert Bars Dough Ready
  • Prep Pan and Press In 

    Spray a 13" x 9" cake pan with cooking spray. Then, scrape the dough into the pan and press down to evenly cover the bottom of the pan.

    Cherry Dessert Bars Prepped Pan
    Cherry Dessert Bars Crust Ready
  • Bake for 15 Minutes 

    Bake the crust in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until it's just starting to get golden brown. When the crust is done, remove from the oven and be sure to increase the oven temperature to 350º.

    Cherry Dessert Bars Baked Crust
  • Make the Topping 

    While the crust is cooking, make the topping. Start by draining the cherries and placing in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients (including the remaining 1/4 Cup flour) and stir by hand until everything is all combined.

    Cherry Dessert Bars Cherries
    Cherry Dessert Bars Topping Ingredients
    Cherry Dessert Bars Topping Ready
  • Add Topping and Bake Again 

    Add the topping to the baked crust and smooth out evenly with a spatula. Be sure the oven's temperature has increased to 350º and then bake for 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

    Cherry Dessert Bars Topping Added
    Cherry Dessert Bars Baked and Ready to Eat

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