Friday, February 14, 2020

Maraschino Cherry Cookie Bars

Happy Valentine’s Day! As an adult, I don’t really do that much to celebrate, but I wanted to make something festive for the day. I figured that something with cherries would be perfect (and red) and I had pinned these bars a short while ago. They seemed very straight-forward, and the cherries would add a lovely bit of color. Thankfully, they don’t call for any unusual ingredients, other than cherries, so I picked some up at the store this week.

These cookies are easy to make, and the bars are thin but cakey. The bars themselves don’t brown all that much, but the cookies will be puffy and look set when they are baked. I let mine cool overnight, as the biggest challenge with this recipe was that I needed two mixer bowls, so I needed to do the dishes! The frosting contains a small amount of cream cheese, so they have a nice tang. I found the frosting to be too thick to spread, so I added about a tablespoon of milk to make it spread easier. These bars eat like cake, and I love the extra sweetness of the frosting. Enjoy!

Maraschino Cherry Cookie Bars
16 oz jar maraschino cherries
3/4 butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp almond extract
2½ cups flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

¼ cup butter, room temperature
2 oz cream cheese, room temperature
¼ teaspoon vanilla 
3 cup powdered sugar
About 1 tablespoon milk
Red sprinkles

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Drain the cherries and cut them into eights. Place the cherry pieces in a colander to continue to drain while you make the cookies.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the almond extract, stirring on medium until combined. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Once the dough comes together, fold in the chopped cherries. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, until set and lightly golden around the edges. Allow the cookies to cool before frosting.

Make the frosting: in a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar on medium low until combined. Add milk, as needed, to get the frosting to a spreading consistently. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled bars. Top with red sprinkles and then cut into bars.

Recipe from One Acre Vintage Home

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