Cherry Almond Bars

 

It looks like I’m baking my way through the entire Spring section of Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson.  How did that happen?  I’m not exactly sure because it was definitely not something I planned on doing.  This is one of those baking projects that just took on a life of it’s own.  I should mention that I have a thing for rustic fruit desserts.  On the top of the page next to the recipe title, Cherry Almond Bars, I wrote, “I am SO making these!”  Honestly I don’t usually write myself messages in cookbooks.  But, hey -why not!?  It’s nice to receive words of encouragement, even if they are from yourself.

We have a cherry tree in our garden and I’ve shared here that the birds get all our cherries- way before they are ripe, when you don’t feel like competing for them.  This year the cherries on the tree were tiny green balls when we left for vacation and when we came home they had all disappeared.  I actually prefer not knowing the truth about the fate of our cherries.  That’s what farmer’s markets and roadside stands are for -serious cherry growers that are willing to put up a fight to keep their cherries from the birds, at least until they are ripe and can be sold.

I made these cherry almond bars to bring to a picnic lunch with my family over the holiday weekend.  Except for taking the time to pit the cherries, this is a quick and easy recipe that travels well to a picnic.  They are a nice alternative to lemon bars or brownies, especially during cherry season, but frozen cherries could also be used and if they’re already pitted, so much the better.

Cherry Almond Bars

Serving Size: 12 bar cookies

Adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson.

Ingredients

  • For the Cherry Filling
  • 3 cups(18 ounces) cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • For the crust and topping
  • 1&1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup(4 ounces) sliced almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup(6 ounces) cold unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Spray a 9" square metal baking pan with baking spray.
  3. To Make the Cherry Filling
  4. Stir together the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, sea salt, lemon zest and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. Bring to a boil, stir occasionally, cooking for about 1 minute or until thickened.
  6. To Make the Crust and Topping
  7. Place the flour, brown sugar, almonds and salt in the bowl of a food processor, pulse a few times to combine.
  8. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms crumbs.
  9. Add the egg and vanilla, pulse until the mixture comes together and looks slightly moist.
  10. Press two-thirds of this mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan.
  11. Pour in the cherry filling.
  12. Press the remaining crust/topping mixture over the cherry filling.
  13. Bake on a rack centered in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the cherry filling is bubbling and the topping is lightly browned.
  14. Cool for at least 1 hour before cutting into 12 bars.
  15. The bars will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight storage container.
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Comments

  1. Lol I would be so making these too. Love, this is my kind of dessert! Have a great weekend, Patty! :)

  2. ” It’s nice to receive words of encouragement, even if they are from yourself.” HA HA HA, good point! These look delicious, Patty. As I think you know, cherry and almond is one of my very favorite combinations! NOM NOM NOM!

  3. I wish I could dive through the screen and grab several of these cherry almond bars! Your photos, as always, are stellar.

    I’m sure your own cherries provided a sweet, happy, meal to some adorable woodland creature(s). :D

  4. Love the cherries and almonds together! And your cherry trees sound like our strawberry plants – a fight with the birds!

  5. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    Rustic desserts are my favorite kind of desserts-rustic fruit desserts, to be more exact. Now I am not sure why I haven’t ordered this book already. This summer I will for sure. This is fabulous! And I want to come pick cherries from your tree:))

  6. I am so making these, too. When my friend at work saw your recent scones on my FB feed promptly told me that she’d make them this weekend. That makes two of us! Now i want these! Something tells me I’d really like that book–love rustic desserts. This is a winner, Patty!

  7. Lucky you, with the cherry tree! These bars look like healthy slices of deliciousness! The whole wheat flour and almonds have to add a wonderful nutty flavor…definitely need to make these for my son who loves cherries!

    By the way, my big brother lost a lot of pecans from his orchard last year because he didn’t beat the squirrels to them!

  8. We literally must share the same dna when it comes to tastebuds, Patty. I can barely stand to look at your photos I want to eat these so badly.

  9. Oh, and I couldn’t pin these fast enough….

  10. Such a bummer that the birds beat you to those luscious cherries. We have a walnut tree that the squirrels always get the nuts and we only see the leftover shells. These bars look AMAZING! A must make for me soon. Your photos are brilliant! Happy Almost Friday!!!

  11. o streusel…you have no idea how much I love it! These nutty cherry bars are incredible.

  12. Oh my goodness do these look delicious! I love a crumbly bar with berries, but cherries sound even better!

  13. Very smart birds, they know a good thing when they see it! My yard has a snail problem. Under the cover of fog or night armies arrive to nibble at my garden. My first batch of zucchini plants were mowed to the ground! I don’t mind pitting fresh cherries, especially when I’m making a scrumptious dessert such as your comforting Cherry Almond Bars!

  14. This is when I wished Bill would eat cherries :/ I’ll just have to make these marvelous bars for my girlfriends!

  15. I can’t wait for cherry season! They’re my favorite! :)

  16. Beautiful-looking bars! You are tempting me too much! I just have to give in…

  17. Wow these bars have amazing look! I really love that you combined with my favorite almonds! I’m going to cherry pick this weekend and very excited to get fresh cherries! Your photos make me drool, I want to make these!

  18. Cherries are such a lovely fruit to bake with and they pair so well with almonds! These bars look so perfect and yummy!

  19. Cherry season is here…yeah! This looks wonderfully delicious!

  20. I found your blog from your comments on Tutti Dolci and your Cherry Almond Bars and Cherry Upside Down Cake look awesome! I plan to try both and subscribe to your posts. Thanks :D

  21. Looks like the perfect re pie to use up seasonal cherries . And I’m jealous of your cherry tree! It makes me want to move to California ASAP!

  22. These bars are beautiful and I would love to dive into them, I just bought a big basket of cherries and I’m having a hard time making up my mind what to make, maybe it should be these!

  23. Cristina says:

    Your cherry almond bars turned out beautiful, Patty. I’m having the same problem with some of my fruit trees too, if it’s not the ground squirrels, it’s the birds. I found a fruit tree net that may help with that problem from the birds. Luv “rustic” desserts – and that cookbook by Schreiber/Richardson (need to start using it more!). Have a lovely week! :)

  24. I laughed while reading this post Patty! Nice for a sunday afternoon. And even nicer if I had some of these bars with me. Absolute stunners! Cherries are my favorite fruits probably, ever.

  25. Hi, Patty!

    I was looking for fresh cherry recipes on Pinterest & it’s no surprise to me that one of yours looks the best! So looking forward to trying these!

    Hope you’re well!

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