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
- 14 ounces pitted sweet 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 flour, or almond meal
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Set oven to 350°F.
- Lightly spray an 8x8 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- 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.
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Questions and Reviews
Be still my heart, Sue! These bars are pure heaven! <3
I love cherry anything and especially the cherry almond combination. These bars are beautiful!!
looks fantastic , as all your recipes, a huge fan!
I’m in love! I’m a huge cherry lover and these look fantastic!! I’m crazy about my cherry pitter. You’re right, pitting cherries is a huge pain but with one of those guys, it’s quick, easy and FUN!
Growing up in the Northwest, I remember eating cherries like these right off the trees in the backyard! I love what you did with them here! That is a dessert I could get behind!
That’s kind of my dream, I’ve never picked a cherry from a tree!
It’s such a perfect time to make dessert using fresh and seasonal fruits, they are so inexpensive right now!! These bars looks delicious!
I know — grab ’em while you can!!
Almonds and cherries are two of my favorite things! These look so tempting and delicious, Sue!
You had me at almonds!!! Probably one of my top 5 favorite foods of all time, and the fact that they are paired with fresh, juicy cherries? Oh, I can only imagine not only how good these taste, but the aroma that will fill my kitchen when I make these. Nom!
Thanks for sharing!
I have to agree with you about almonds, they are so incredibly versatile, too!
Ooooh, the sprinkling of almonds on top sends these over the EDGE of delicious!!
These are so beautoful and the perfect way to make the most of cherries. I am going to go and buy some cherries now.
The cherries are perfect right now — enjoy!