Cherry Almond Pastry Bars

After sitting out last month I am so happy to be back participating in the Improv Cooking Challenge!

Cherry Almond Pastry Bars | From My Sweet Heart

This fun group of cooks, chefs, bakers, bloggers is hosted by Kristen from The Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.  And every month, Kristen gives us 2 ingredients to incorporate into a recipe of our choice.  Can you guess from the picture what we worked with this month? . . . . .

Cherries and Almonds Always a sweet and crunchy combination!  I decided to make these really scrumptious cherry almond bars; the base of which is puffed pastryBing and maraschino cherries keep this sweet and colorful while almond meal and extract give it substance and richness.  All sitting atop a light, buttery pastry crust!

 

Cherry Almond Pastry Bars | From My Sweet Heart

Though the total baking time is about 1 hour and 15 minutes for these beauties, they really are a breeze to throw together and lend themselves well to most any fruit in season.

 

Yields:  9-12 bars

Level of Difficulty:  easy

 

CHERRY ALMOND PASTRY BARS:

  • 1 sheet of ready made puff pastry, thawed
  • 10 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup of almond meal
  • 3 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 6 ounces of Bing cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2 ounces of maraschino cherries, drained and halved or chopped
  • 1/4 cup of sliced almonds

Preheat your oven to 400°F.  Lightly spray a 9 inch square baking pan with cooking spray and line it with parchment paper, leaving enough paper to hang over two sides of the pan.

Place the thawed puff pastry onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment.  Prick the pastry all over with a fork and then bake it for about 15 minutes until it is nice and golden brown.  Though the pastry will still puff up a bit, it will also shrink a little.  When it has cooled enough to handle, ease the pastry into the bottom of the 9 inch baking pan.  You may have to trim one edge slightly. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Gradually add one beaten egg at a time, mixing after each addition.  Next add the almond extract.  Finally, fold in the almond meal and flour.  Pour this mixture over the top of the pastry and even it out with your offset spatula.  Scatter the cherries and almonds on top and bake for one hour or until lightly golden in color.  Cool the cake in the pan.  Then use the paper handles to lift it out.  Cut into bars and you may sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

 

Cherry Almond Pastry Bars | From My Sweet Heart

 

These are chewy, buttery and sweet.  The almonds give it a nutty crunch.  I have made these bars using raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.  And they were equally good!  I’m looking forward to making these with apples, pears, cinnamon and vanilla in the fall!  

NOTE:  If you use berries, substitute the juice of half a lemon instead of the extract.

Enjoy!

:-P

Adapted from The Essential Baking Cookbook.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out what my fellow Improvers did with their cherries and almonds!



Comments

  1. What a great way to use puff pastry. Love these flavors too, Anne!

  2. Did you say “sweet and crunchy”? :) I knew something delicious was calling my name! Gorgeous!

    • LOL Anna….you are a sweet and crunchy kinda girl! Hey…that jalapeno lime topping looks perfect for so many things….I’m thinking fish tacos! : )

  3. So delicious looking! Yum-o!

  4. I am drooling over this and all of the other varieties you mentioned. That puffed pastry crust takes the cake!!

  5. These look fabulous. What a great combination of flavors.

  6. Yum! Your cherry and almond pastry bars look fantastic! What a great idea for the Improv Challenge!

  7. YUM! I love the double dose of cherries! And I just adore bar cookies :) Excellent recipe for the challenge :)

  8. What a great thing to do with puff pastry. I love using it and this is such a good combo.

  9. This is the most delicious-looking non-chocolate use of puff pastry I’ve seen in a long time!

  10. Love this! This is a great blog! I just became your newest follower! Can’t wait to see what is coming next! Please come over and check out my blog at The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen and check out my post for the challenge #32

  11. Hi! I jumped in from Chaya’s blog when I saw her post on cherry almond mini muffins…your pastry bars look so good! Love the flavors and the presentation is perfect!

  12. Ovo izgleda prefino!

  13. These bars look like they would hit just the right spot with some hot cocoa :D
    Beautiful!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  14. What pretty bars! They look delicious!

  15. I love this!! I would certainly take a big bite too!! Hope you have a wonderful “cool” weekend!!

  16. What great looking bars!

  17. Anne, these are gorgeous! I love that you’ve mixed fresh and maraschino cherries for the color/texture mixture–my husband cannot resist anything with maraschino cherries.

  18. These look great… what a fun improv recipe!!!! All the dishes look yummy I can’t remember the last time I have had a maraschino cherry. Although Julian eats them often but usually dug out of his shirley temple. :)

  19. Oh, Yumbo!! I adore almond bars – and anything reminiscent of marzipan, amaretto flavourings… I guess I’m just in love with almonds ~ And you’ve dressed them up so well here with the chewy cherries… I can just imagine how scrumptious these are Anne. Beautifully luminous too.

  20. Cherry and almonds are, to me, a match made in heaven! This looks FANTASTIC!

  21. GREAT ingredient choice this month, and I love what you did with it!

  22. Wow, these look great!

  23. This is so great! I love the idea of using puff pastry. These bars must be extremely delicious.

  24. These look awesome! I love all the different textures going on!

  25. Gorgeous! I love cherries, and I have a huge craving for a blondie type bar. These will be perfect!

  26. Stopping by Facebook to see your blog. All your recipes look delicious! Enjoy your weekend!

  27. Kristin says:

    I love these! I have to make them!

  28. What a great recipe! I love recipes where you make it different by changing ingredients~like your fruit. I am looking forward to making this!

  29. Bing AND maraschino cherries! That just sound down right wonderful! Clever use of puff pastry and a recipe for this challenge, but then you always have such clever recipes as well as delicious looking!

  30. That is too funny! I just made dried cherry and chocolate chunk cookies with a bunch of almond flour thrown in to add flavor! They look delicious Anne! Sorry I’ve been so scarce lately – I’m hoping that things will start settling down for me now…

  31. Anne,

    Nice job as always *-)

  32. Looks delicious!
    Mimi

  33. Cherries and almonds are an amazing combination and these bars look scrumptious! Like the addition of puff pastry. I have to give these a try!

  34. Wish I could reach out & grab one now!

  35. Cherries and almonds were just meant to be together! Love your take on the improv challenge! These bars look amazing! :)

  36. Oh my, Anne! Cherry & Almond is my favorite flavor combination of all time, so this is like an ultimate post for me. Your pastry bars made my eyes bug out of my head. Can’t wait to try these! And that long list of cherry links absolutely made my day. I know what I’ll be browsing all day. Thank you so much for this one!

  37. Anne, I LOVE cherry and almond. And WOW, these bars look amazing. Love the roundup of wonderful cherry recipes too.

  38. These look amazing, and I love that you used puff pastry and maraschino cherries. Cherries and almonds are one of my favorite combinations. Thanks for sharing!

  39. Oohh.. these bars look so yummy!!!

  40. i made something similar last months for a party I threw but with blueberries. Have to try your cherry version before the season is over!

  41. Mmmmm this looks delicious – what fantastic flavours my friend :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  42. These are lover- er – ly! Once you have the base there are so many topping combo possibilities. I don’t know why I’m so gun shy about puff pastry. I have to get past that so I can enjoy these.

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