CHERRY BARS FOR A CROWD

These cherry bars are a soft cookie crust topped with cherry pie filling, more cookie dough and a drizzle of vanilla glaze. An easy and impressive dessert that’s perfect to feed a crowd!
Is there anything prettier than a cherry or strawberry dessert? I love the colors, I love the flavors and they are perfect for the holidays. You can use any flavor pie filling to switch it up a bit. Blueberry is another favorite of mine. As always, I love adding a little almond extract along with anything cherry. It really enhances the cherry flavor without overwhelming it.
Whip up a pan of these festive bars in just 20 minutes with staple ingredients and cherry pie filling. Between the easy preparation and pretty color, they’re destined to become a holiday classic. —Jane Kamp, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Ingredients
For the Bars:
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cans (21 oz.) cherry pie filling

For the Glaze:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons milk

Steps
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a jelly roll pan (12×17) with aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar, about 1-2 minutes.
Add salt, eggs, and vanilla and almond flavorings and continue stirring until fully incorporated.
Add flour and baking powder and mix until just combined.
Reserve 1 3/4 cup of dough.
Spread/Press remaining dough into the prepared baking pan.
See note.
Top with cherry pie filling.
Drop remaining batter in small pieces over the cherry filling.
Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cooled prepare the glaze.
Whisk together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth and drizzle over the bars.
Cut into 35 squares and serve.
Notes
Think I’ll mix together some cream cheese and sugar and an egg place it on the bottom crust then finish.

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