These cherry bars are a soft cookie crust topped with cherry pie filling, more cookie dough and a drizzle of vanilla glaze. An easy and impressive dessert that’s perfect to feed a crowd!
I love a good pie, and these bar cookies are almost like a handheld pie, but with much less work. Cherry bars always get rave reviews and are super festive for a holiday gathering.
I have to admit, I made these cherry bars because I found some cans of cherry pie filling in the pantry that I needed to use up. I wasn’t expecting a lot, but let me tell you, my expectations were absolutely wrong. These cherry bars are incredibly delicious and have found their way onto my regular dessert rotation.
How do you make cherry bars?
This recipe starts with a super soft and flavorful cookie dough which forms both the crust and the topping for these bars. Some of the dough is spread into the bottom of a jelly roll pan, and then two cans of cherry pie filling get spread over the top. Using an offset spatula makes spreading the dough and pie filling easy tasks.
Not a fan of cherry pie filling? Try apple, blueberry or peach pie filling instead! This recipe calls for a 15″ x 10″ pan which is a somewhat unusual size. You can make the bars in a 9″ x 13″ pan instead, but the bars will be thicker and therefore take longer to cook.
More of the cookie dough goes over the top, and then the whole pan goes into the oven to bake until golden brown.
This recipe calls for basic ingredients that you most likely already have in the house with the exception of one: almond extract. The almond extract really makes these bars special, so I urge you to make a special trip to the store to grab some for this recipe. You won’t regret it.
After your bars have cooled, a little glaze goes over the top. Cut your pan of cookies into squares and you’re ready to serve!
Cherry bars make a great potluck offering, are perfect for a holiday cookie tray, or are great for when you need dessert to feed a lot of people. Everyone that has tried these bars has asked me for the recipe, they’re really that good! Think cherry pie meets almond sugar cookie. I may or may not have even had some of the leftovers for breakfast.
Cherry pie bars are perfect served as is, but a scoop of vanilla ice cream never hurts, am I right?
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For the bars
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cans cherry pie filling
- cooking spray
For the glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 10" x 15" jelly roll pan with cooking spray.
- Place the butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Beat until fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
- Spread 2/3 of the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan.
- Spread the pie filling over the dough.
- Place teaspoon sized dollops of dough all over the surface of the pie filling.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in the pan.
- To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, extracts and milk. Add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if you prefer a thinner glaze.
- Drizzle the glaze over the bars. Let the glaze harden, then cut into squares and serve.