My grandparents had a cherry tree (I think a Bing) next to their house when I was growing up and there wasn’t much better in life than picking and eating those cherries. Honestly, gorging on those cherries. I loved them and my love affair with cherries has continued since then.
Just thinking of those sweet off the tree cherries brings up many other summer memories at Nana and Papa’s, like the cute little tree frogs that lived in the cherry tree. Or the time the cattle came up onto the porch. I seem to remember there being about 20 head of “Cows” but I was only about 5 so maybe there were only one or two. Then there was the night I thought they were back on the porch mooing, but it turns out it was only Papa’s snores!
A favorite memory (second only to picking cherries) is sleeping under the stars where the beds were moved outside for the summer. I thought that was really special. Especially the night that Aunt Marie and Uncle Vincent joined us! They were adults (in fact, my Great-Greats) and all the other adults slept inside, so it was something unique and special to have them join us kids on the lawn for the night.
Hot during the day, but sweet at night. Blackberry picking, watch out for snakes! The compost pile right outside the kitchen window (talk about convenient!). Cherries bring back all of these wonderful memories, so when I saw a recipe for “Cherry Bars” on the WeIl Plated by Erin blog, couldn’t resist trying it.
The recipe is actually a sweet, light and buttery crust with a thick layer of cherry pie filling, topped off with a crumbly and buttery topping. It tastes even better than it looks, believe it or not!
When I tried it, the first step was making the cherry pie filling. I used frozen cherries (saves all that pitting the fresh ones require) from the grocery store, and they worked quite well.
The pie filling is sweetened with honey (see, perfect for the Dancing Bees!) and has a touch of lemon juice and almond extract to bring out all the flavors. You don’t cut or mash the cherries, so you see real, plump, juicy cherries on the bars! Yum.
After the cherry filling was off the stove and cooling, I started on the dough for the base and topping.
I love baking with butter and the melt-in-your mouth feel of butter in a baked item, so this recipe is absolutely perfect. It calls all the good ingredients: Sugar, Butter, Flour. By the way, did I tell you yet of my cookie tasting from a bakery called Sugar, Butter, Flour? No? Ok, I’ll have to do that soon.
This recipe is delightful, and I recommend it whole heartedly. Because it’s not my recipe and I haven’t customized it in any special way, I’m going to ask you to get the recipe itself from the original blog: Well Plated by Erin. I will note that I had some issues spreading the top crust evenly. Erin did say you can see cherries in the gaps of the topping, but I thought my gaps were too big. Next time I’m going to reserve ¾ of a cup of the dough for the top.
As usual, if you make the bars (cherries, cherries, cherries) please let me know how they come out! I hope you love them as much as we do.
Summery and sweet days to you,