Cherry Bars for a Crowd

Perfect for gatherings, these Cherry Bars are a sweet and fruity delight!

 

CHERRY BARS FOR A CROWD

When it comes to whipping up a treat that’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, look no further than these delightful Cherry Bars for a Crowd. Whether you’re hosting a festive gathering or simply need a dessert that can feed a hungry bunch, these cherry bars hit all the right notes. Think buttery, crumbly goodness paired with the tart sweetness of cherry pie filling, all topped with a luscious glaze. Ready to dive into this heavenly recipe? Let’s get baking!

  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 60 min
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Servings: 35

Ingredients:

Bars:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cans (21 oz) cherry pie filling

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk

Steps to Make Cherry Bars for a Crowd

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12×17 pan with foil and spray it with non-stick spray. This makes cleanup a breeze and ensures your bars come out perfectly.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together. In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This step is crucial for a tender and crumbly crust.

3. Add the salt, eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix well until everything is combined. The addition of almond extract gives these bars an extra layer of flavor that pairs beautifully with the cherries.

4. Incorporate the flour and baking powder. Gradually add the flour and baking powder to the mixture, blending until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can make the bars tough.

5. Reserve 1 3/4 cups of the dough. Set this portion aside. You’ll be using it later to create a delicious topping for your bars.

6. Press the remaining dough into your prepared pan. Use your hands or a spatula to spread it out evenly. This will form the base layer of your cherry bars.

7. Top with cherry pie filling. Spread the cherry pie filling over the dough base, ensuring an even layer. This is where the magic happens, as the cherries bake into the crust, creating a sweet and tart middle layer.

8. Drop the reserved dough over the cherries. Using a spoon, drop small dollops of the reserved dough over the cherry filling. Don’t worry about covering every inch; the dough will spread as it bakes.

9. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Place your pan in the preheated oven and bake until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Your kitchen will smell absolutely divine!

10. Cool completely. This step is crucial – the bars need to set properly before you cut into them.

11. Prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. You want a thick but pourable consistency.

12. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled bars. Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze in a zigzag pattern, adding a touch of sweetness and a beautiful finish.

13. Cut into squares. Once the glaze has set, cut your bars into squares or rectangles. They’re now ready to be enjoyed!

FAQs

Can I use fresh cherries instead of canned pie filling?

Absolutely! Fresh cherries can add a delightful burst of flavor. Just be sure to pit and halve them, and consider adding a bit of sugar and cornstarch to mimic the consistency of the pie filling.

Can I make these bars ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare these bars a day in advance. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge. Just wait to drizzle the glaze until you’re ready to serve them.

What’s the best way to store leftover cherry bars?

If you have any leftovers (which is unlikely!), store them in an airtight container. They’ll keep well at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to a week.

Can I freeze these cherry bars?

Yes, these bars freeze beautifully. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil, or store them in a freezer-safe container. They will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

Conclusion

These Cherry Bars for a Crowd are not just a treat; they’re an experience. Perfectly balanced between sweet and tart, with a buttery crust and a dreamy glaze, they’re bound to become a favorite in your dessert repertoire. Whether you’re baking for a party, a potluck, or just because, these cherry bars will have everyone coming back for seconds. Happy baking!

CHERRY BARS FOR A CROWD Pin Pinterest

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