Charmin’ Cherry Bars

by Cate on February 4, 2010

Charmin' Cherry Bars-2

I just love that naughty piece of toasted coconut standing straight up in the back of this picture.  Kind of reminds me of my grey hair.  I have just a few pieces, but they’re wiry as all get-out and there are one or two shorter pieces that are stubborn and stick straight up.  Drives me mad.

So desserts.  Desserts are one of the overlooked categories of Super Bowl parties.  Dips.  Chilis.  Finger food galore.  Beer.  Chips.  And then dessert.  A complete after-thought.  But given that Valentine’s Day is right on the heels of the big game, it’s fair to say we more than make up for it with the thrust of chocolate, sweets and desserts that quickly follow.  But if you’re looking for a dessert recipe for this weekend, you just might want to try these bars.  They cut nice and neat, are easy to eat with your fingers, and taste good to boot.  What more could you want, right?

I was actually looking for a good muffin recipe (got one?) when I found this one for Charmin’ Cherry Bars.  It from a Pillsbury cookbook, Best of the Bake-Off Cookies and Bars.  And the recipe?  From the 1951 Bake-Off.  I love that it’s a recipe that is some 60+ years old, but is still just as relevant today as it was back then.   The base is shortbread, and the filling is just a touch creamy with just a bit of crunch from the walnuts and a bite from the cherries.  The only change I made was that I used dried cherries, instead of maraschino cherries.  No real reason why except for the fact that the maraschino jar in the fridge had just the juice in it, no more cherries.

If you’re watching your figure, these aren’t too terrible, with 130 calories per piece and 6 grams of fat.  Not wonderful, but not terrible.  More nachos on Sunday for you!

Project 365
February 4, 2010, Photo #35

The Scene of the Crime-1

The Perpetrator-1

I have a lidded jar on a shelf in the middle of the pantry.  A tight-fitting lidded jar.  On the fourth shelf down.  Inside the jar are some assorted mints and gum.  See that leg of the chair in the left side of the picture?  That would be the chair my daughter dragged over to the pantry.  To get the lidded jar.  With the tight-fitting lid.  To help herself to some gum and mints.  When she was caught red-handed, she scurried over to try and clean up her mess, but I told her she had to wait so I could take a picture of her thievery.  She liked that idea enough that she wanted to be in the second picture herself.  The scene of the crime.  And the perpetrator.

Charmin’ Cherry Bars
Recipe courtesy of Pillsbury’s Best of the Bake-Off: Cookies and Bars

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup maraschino cherries; drained and chopped
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl, combine 1 cup flour and powdered sugar. Using fork or pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press crumb mixture firmly in bottom of ungreased 9-inch square pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in same bowl, combine 1/4 cup flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs; beat well. Stir in cherries, coconut, and walnuts. Spread over partially baked crust. Return to oven and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. Cut into bars.

YIELD: 25 bars

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

mandy February 5, 2010 at 12:15 am

This recipe reminds me of something my great grandma used to make! She wasn’t a chocolate lover and always had to have something with cherries. Thanks for that memory (and the recipe!).


Joanne February 5, 2010 at 7:12 am

I love how few ingredients these bars have. And the fact that they cut easy – total appeal. Should i have a superbowl party (it’s all so very up in the air right now) I could definitely see these making an appearance. Dessert is crucial.

I love that Maddie was caught red-handed – and was evidently proud of her work! Too cute.


Rebekah Williams February 5, 2010 at 11:07 am

Ha! Like the “reminds me of my gray hair” remark!


doggybloggy February 5, 2010 at 2:38 pm

these look so moist and tasty – hey I have all gray hair and it sticks up in all directions so consider yourself lucky


Cyndi February 5, 2010 at 3:51 pm

See that bottle of lemon juice she’s holding? Make her sip some of that! This is too funny. She has no guilt, does she?!


darla February 5, 2010 at 4:14 pm

I really gotta stop reading this blog so often…..I was all set to make something blueberry-ish for dessert but now I gotta make these cherry bars. Heck, maybe I’ll just make both!!


Debbie February 5, 2010 at 7:12 pm

The bars look great. I don’t have a recipe for cherry ones either! Grey hairs, I have a ton. It used to be that I complained about having dark roots, now it’s grey ones!!!! lol….


Aimee February 6, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Oh wow! The fact that these are made with maraschino cherries just made my day! :) I must try this recipe!


Ramona February 8, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Well I am watching my figure. And diet.

But, it’s the flour and sugar that I can’t have in this recipe…..

Uh oh, how much trouble was she in?


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