I had two weeks off recently and decided to get my kitchen reorganized. By which I mean I went through all of the cupboards to see what I had on hand and what items were past their use by dates. I didn’t toss out as much as I had expected! But I did find two cans of cherry pie filling that were on code. Time to find a way to use them up!
With cherry pie filling in hand my next project was to jump on Pinterest to see what I could make with the pie filling. Right off I found a bar recipe that actually called for two cans of filling. It was fate! We were meant to eat something scrumptiously cherry!
The recipe suggested a baking pan sized 15x10x1. They called it a “jelly roll pan”. I had never realized I didn’t own a jelly roll pan. I have lots of sheet pans in 3 different sizes but none exactly 15x10x1. Dilemma! I was not going out to buy a pan for one recipe. I’ve not had one for years, apparently I can do without one.
I chose to use the pan that was slightly smaller. I probably couldn’t have stretched the dough to cover a larger pan. The pan I used was about 12x9x1. I’d cross my fingers hand hope using the self cleaning oven wasn’t going to be my next kitchen project.
Pan chosen and sprayed, I dug out a large bowl and began making the dough. I put two sticks of butter into the bowl and microwaved them for 30 seconds. Perfect! They were softened but still shaped and not melted.
I measured the sugar into the bowl and used my hand mixer to cream it. I added one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition. I added the vanilla, salt and almond extract and again mixed well. Finally I added the flour and mixed just until it was smooth and mixed. I placed half of the dough into the pan and spread it out evenly. With the pan sprayed, that wasn’t an easy task.. But keep trying, it does eventually get spread to the far corners and sides evenly. I spread the cans of pie filling over the dough then placed globs of the remainder of the dough on top. That’s also not as easy as it sounds, but brave it out. It finally is all spread, leaving pockets of filling open. Into the oven it went, for 35 minutes. At 30 it wasn’t turning lightly browned yet. You oven may vary as well. As I removed the pan from the oven and onto a cooling rack the pie filling was just beginning to ooze out the sides. My oven didn’t get messy but the potholders sure did! They went straight into the laundry hamper! When the bars were cooled I mixed the glaze in a small bowl and drizzled it all over the top. I maybe went overboard, there wasn’t much filling left to see but it would show once it was cut into bars. I let the glaze dry for about an hour before cutting the pan into about 24 bars. The size was good for us, you could make them larger or smaller. The bars were so good! I don’t know that I felt like they were cherry pie, exactly, but they were super good cherry bars, pie or not. You could go that extra step and add ice cream. We were out so didn’t try it.
Cherry Pie Bars
Make a large pan of delightfully cherry bars!
– 1 cup butter; softened, not melted- 2 cups sugar
– 4 eggs
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
– 3 cups flour
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
– 2 teaspoons milk
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add vanilla, salt and almond extract and mix.
Add flour and mix until combined.
Spread half of dough into a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Spread pie filling over the crust. Drop remaining dough by teaspoonfuls over filling.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned.
Measure powdered sugar, almond extract and milk into a small bowl. Mix well and drizzle over the cooled bars.
They can be stored on the counter but I prefer them stored in the fridge. I like to eat them cold.
Adapted from Budget 101