Sour Cherry Almond Bars ~ these brown sugar and oatmeal cherry almond bars are officially my new favorite sweet snack. The cherries are nice and tart, the almond scented crumble dough is chewy and butterscotch-y ~ these are a must make!
These little sour cherry almond bars are bound to become your favorites too
These bars are delicious, and so convenient to make using pantry ingredients and a jar of jam. For this crumble recipe you’ll use the same dough for the bottom crust and the crumble topping, so they’re super simple to throw together. The topping bakes up and spreads just enough over the jammy surface while still allowing those vibrant cherries to peek through. Kinda perfect.
The word ‘crumble’ features in so many of my desserts here on tvfgi. I just love the ease of this kind of recipe, and the way it can play with so many different kinds of fruit fillings. Here the sour cherries mingle nicely with the brown sugar and oats, which in turn make these bars extra chewy. Once cooled they’re easy to eat right out of hand, so even though I photographed them with a fork, you won’t need one.
The difference between sour (Montmorency) cherries and regular cherries
- Sour cherries are a variety of cherry that happens to be quite tart, and have a very short growing season. Unless you frequent a farmers market, or are part of a CSA, you probably won’t see them in their fresh form.
- They’re used in cooking rather than for eating out of hand, like sweet cherries.
- Like so many tart fruits, sour cherries have an intensely wonderful flavor when baked, and so have a cult following among their fans.
- You can find sour cherries in your supermarket juiced, frozen, dried, or canned.
- If you’re lucky enough to live in the right area (California, Michigan or Wisconsin for instance) you might be able to pick your own sour cherries; check for your location in the PICK YOUR OWN farm locator.
- Sour cherries can be in season from June through August.
My sour cherry bars make great grab and go snacks
Because these are so sturdy, they’re ideal for grabbing and going. Think school, work, or travel (once you’ve made these you’ll never be a slave to pricey airport food again.) Lunch boxes, care packages…absolutely. This recipe makes a lot ~ you’ll get 20 decent bars ~ so you’ll still have some leftover for kitchen counter snacking…my favorite kind.
I love the combination of cherries and almonds
The classic combination really shines in these bars, I use a heavy amount of almond extract in the dough. If you aren’t a fan you can substitute vanilla extract.
Try my sweet cherry almond bars for a fresh cherry version.
Sour Cherry Almond Bars
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 packed cups brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 12 ounces sour cherry jam
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper with long ends. The parchment is optional, but helps with lifting out the bars for easy cutting later. If you don’t line the pan, spray or butter it lightly.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Beat in the egg, baking powder, and almond extract.
- With the mixer on low, beat in the flour, one cup at a time, and then the oats. Finish the mixing by hand with a big spoon, and fold in the almonds.
- Remove 2/3 cup of the dough and set aside for the topping. Then press the rest into the bottom of your pan. I like to crumble it all over the bottom first to distribute it, and then gently press with my fingers. Make sure to get the whole bottom surface covered.
- Top the dough with the jam, spreading it out into an even layer, and then crumble the remaining dough in little pieces over the top.
- Bake for about 35 minutes, just until the topping starts to turn golden.
- Let cool in the pan, on a rack, and then gently lift the bars out with the ends of the parchment paper to cut them into 20 pieces.
- I think chopped walnuts would be a good substitute for the almonds.
- Other jams would work, I like apricot, marmalade, or lemon curd. Hint: you can always add a little lemon juice to jam to give it some extra zing.
- Regular rolled oats have the best texture for these sour cherry almond bars, but if you only have quick cooking oats, use them.