Well, given that it’s cookie week here on Becky Bakes I suppose I am getting a little off track by posting a bar recipe. Bars and cookies are pretty similar though right? Plus, I LOVE cherries (so close enough)! The are not in season right now of course, but don’t let that stop you. This recipe calls for frozen tart red cherries and it baked up beautifully. The ground almonds gave these bars a really complex, slightly nutty flavor. I thought they were fantastic, though I am a pushover for berry desserts…berries are my favorite fruit. Moment of truth: as much as I enjoyed these bars I still give the edge to these Cranberry Crumb Bars from last year. Let me know if you try one, or both, and what you think!
Cherry Crumb Bars
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 cups finely ground almonds
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup butter, cut up
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
- 4 cups frozen unsweetened pitted tart red cherries, thawed and drained
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil or parchment, making sure it extends over the edges of the pan.
Crust: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, almonds, and brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Remove 1-1/2 cups of the mixture; set aside. Press the remaining mixture evenly onto the bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Filling: In another large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and lemon peel. Add cherries and almond extract; toss gently to combine. Spoon cherry filling over hot baked crust, spreading evenly (mixture will be wet). Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
4. Bake about 40 minutes more or until filling is bubbly and topping is lightly browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the parchment, lift the bars out of the pan. Cut into bars.