Sweet Cherry Almond Bars are one of the many ways I’m celebrating #cherryseason this year— my buttery almond shortbread crust shows off juicy fresh cherries to perfection.
*This post is in association with The Washington State Fruit Commission. The Commission oversees more than 2,500 growers in the Northwest providing us with the highest quality stone fruit. Thanks for supporting me and the brands I work with, I only bring you the best of the best!
I know, I know, first you’ll want to eat as many cherries as possible right out of hand…I get it. But after you’ve done that, try these, they’re fantastic. This is the first of many things I’ll make with my windfall of Northwest Cherries from Washington State. I’ve been a part of the Canbasador program for a couple of years now, helping to get the word out about Washington State stone fruit and ways to enjoy it. It’s like Christmas morning when my annual shipment of fruit arrives. This year I’m sharing their gorgeous (and ginormous!) sweet cherries.
I’m on a major almond kick after yesterday’s Toasted Almond Milkshake, and luckily cherries and almonds are best buds. Just like in my milkshake, I’ve added layers of almond flavor throughout this easy recipe. The shortbread dough comes together quickly in the food processor, and then part of it forms the bottom crust, and the rest gets crumbled on top of the cherries.
My first bite of one of these Sweet Cherry Almond Bars reminded me that the only way you can get this fresh cherry flavor in baking is to use fresh cherries. Frozen fruit or cherries from cans or jars just isn’t going to cut it. And if you avoid cooking with fresh cherries because of the pitting issue, buy yourself a cherry pitter, it took me only a few minutes to pit the cherries for these bars. You can find these inexpensive gadgets on Amazon, here. I love how they shoot the pits out cleanly and quickly, it’s fun!
Reader Rave ~
“Just have to tell you, I own a home-baking business, with a stall at a local Farmers market here in Vancouver. I made your Cherry Almond bars to sell at last week’s market, and were they ever a hit! Completely sold out, and people were looking for them again this week. I think they will become part of our regular rotation for sure!” ~ Liz
Recipe adapted from Just So Tasty
Sweet Cherry Almond Bars
- about 14 ounces of pitted cherries, halved or rough chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup almond meal or almond flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) cold, unsalted butter cut in pieces
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Set oven to 350F
- Lightly spray an 8x8 baking pan
- Stir together the cherries with the sugar, lemon juice, extract, and cornstarch. Set aside, tossing occasionally to encourage some of the juices to start flowing.
- Put the flour, almond meal, sugar, salt, and baking powder into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
- Add the yolk, extract, and butter, and pulse or process to combine just until the dough comes together, it will be crumbly.
- Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of your pan to form the crust. Top with the cherries. Then crumble the remaining dough evenly over the cherries. Top with the sliced almonds and bake for about 40 minutes until the dough is just golden and the filling is bubbling.
- Let cool before cutting.
- These are delicious for breakfast, so I keep the leftovers loosely covered on the counter overnight.
- If you don’t like almond extract, use vanilla extract instead.
- You can make your own almond meal by grinding whole almonds in a food processor.
don’t forget to pin it!
Questions and Reviews
These were just the ticket to make on this rainy day. The crust was just perfect and i doubted the 40 min bake time but that was correct. I added dark chocolate chips to the cherry filling (which I thickened on the stove before i baked) and they were perfect. I agree…you will want to double this recipe as it is that good. I used dark pitted canned cherry’s (added cinnamon and nutmeg as well to the filling) and the result was great.
Brilliant move to add the chocolate!
Can you use just almond flour for this and not use any regular flour? Just trying to stay away from process flour. Thx!
I haven’t tried to make these bars with almond flour, so not sure they’d have enough structure to hold together. Let us know if you give it a try, Diane, I’d love to know.
I made these delicious cherry bars for my family. It’s perfect for using up summertime cherries. The recipe was easy to follow and the result was yummy. I followed the instructions and ingredients exactly. The result is a chewy, nutty bar cookie. I don’t recommend eating these on the couch! Very moist and crumbly. Thanks for sharing this.
I’m making these this morning! I made the blackberry recipe you sent already and I’m going to do these, I have to take to a bible study tonight and wanted to bring both! So excited! I did not have time to order a cherry pitter, but will because, I had to use another tool last night to get the cherries ready and my hands are still a bit purple!