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I can’t believe it’s already February, can you?  It’s time for me to start baking again (oh joy!), and try some new recipes, like this Cherry Kuchen Bar.  I found this on Pinterest at this site.  I love this cake because you can make in a pinch.  Honestly, I couldn’t stop eating it.  I love the cherries and the subtle flavor of almond.  Not too sweet, but sweet enough.  Great with a cup of coffee in the morning or serve it after dinner with some tea and conversation, and oh it’s so easy to make!  P1230946

Happy Baking!

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Cherry Kuchen Bars

For the Bars:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened

1/2 cup shortening

1-3/4 cup sugar

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3 eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 20-oz. can cherry pie filling

For the Glaze:

1-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar (sifted)

1/4 tsp. almond extract

3-4 Tbsp. milk

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Beat together butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 30 seconds.  Add the sugar, baking powder and salt and beat until combined.  Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.  Reduce speed to medium-low and add the flour half a cup at a time until well combined.  If your mixing bowl is too small, you can stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon.

Set aside about 1-3/4 cups of the dough and press the rest into the bottom of an ungreased 9×12″ baking pan.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Spread the cherry pie filling over the crust evenly  Make sure at least a little syrup covers every bit of crust, but don’t worry that there won’t be a whole cherry in every bite.  The flavor is most important and we’re not going for a gooey bar.  Drop the remaining dough in roughly tablespoon-sized mounds on top of the filling, leaving some gaps between the mounds.

Bake about 30 minutes more until the top is light brown.  Cool the bars in the pan set on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.  While cooking, mix together the sifted confectioner’s sugar, almond extract, and just enough mil to make a thick (but smooth) drizzling consistency.  Pour over the bars.  Cool 10 minutes more, then score the top into the size bars you desire with a serrated knife.  Don’t cut all the way through.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Carefully cut bars along the scored lines.  If necessary, run your knife around the edges of the pan to loosen.

Note:  You may substitute any flavor pie filling and use vanilla extract in the glaze instead of almond.

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