Happy Food

I’ll say up front that I was never a huge fan of cherry flavor. Perhaps it’s because I never tasted fresh cherries growing up, and for most of my life I associated the taste with the cloying smell of cherry flavored Kool-Aid that seemed to be the drink of choice at every kid birthday party, Vacation Bible School, and school lunch thermos bottle.

Eewwww.

Granted I also put potato chips and Cheetos on my ham sandwiches and liked twinkies a lot, so you probably wouldn’t have called my palate particularly sophisticated at the time.

Anyway, things change (twinkies excluded according to research) and I became a fan of fresh cherries and can even appreciate the value of strategically used canned Cherry Pie Filling.

Please don’t alert the Hip Foodie Police.

These Cherry Pie bars are just the thing to brighten up any rather gloomy day- no mixes involved, just simple pound cake-type ingredients and a super fast and easy preparation.

And to top it off they taste great!

Cherry Pie Bars

(From Rustic Joyful Food)

Ingredients

(Makes one 9-by 13-inch pan -about 18 servings)

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

One 21-ounce can cherry pie filling

Confectioners’ sugar, for glazing (optional; see note)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix to combine. Spread a little over half the cake batter into the pan. Evenly spread the cherries over top, then spoon the rest of the cake batter over the cherries. (It’s fine if the cherries show through.)

3. Bake until the top has turned slightly golden, 30 to 35 minutes. (Do not overbake.) Cool before slicing into squares.

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