Almond Cherry Pie Bars

adapted from Amanda’s Cookin'                                    As seen on 3B's...Baseball, Baking, & Books

Bars:

1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temp
4 eggs, room temp
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
30 ounces cherry pie filling, (21 oz. is one can of pie filling but I added another half a can)

Glaze:

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons heavy cream, enough to make the glaze pourable
1/4 teaspoon of almond extract
 
Directions:
 

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream sugar and butter in mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add the almond and beat well. Whisk together flour and baking powder. Turn mixer speed down to lowest setting and slowly add flour mixture until completely combined.

Spread half of mixture onto an ungreased 15x10 jelly roll pan. (Amanda weighted hers out.) Spread pie filling over the top of the batter. Drop remaining batter onto the pie filling layer by spoonfuls.  Spread gently.  (I use a damp offset spatula to do this. Don’t worry about it not being perfect.  It all works out.)

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. (I took mine out at 38 minutes. Do not under bake. Remove to a wire rack.

Whisk together the powdered sugar, melted butter, and heavy cream.  Drizzle over warm bars. (Toasted almond slices would be nice on top.  I didn't add any because my Dad is kinda funny about nuts on or in his dessert.)

Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Note:

These bars lend itself well to many flavor combinations and adaptions.  Amanda's were a blackberry pie bar and the first time I made these I used blueberry pie filling.

For the blueberry version I made:  Use (1) 21 ounce can of blueberry pie filling, 1 tsp vanilla extract in place of almond, and add the zest of one lemon to your sugar, rub to combine.  For the glaze sub in lemon juice for the heavy cream and leave out the almond extract.

 

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