Cherry Crumble Bars

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Cherry Crumb Bars have a buttery cookie crust filled with fresh cherries and almond flavoring that is topped off with a sweet crumble layer.

A platter with four cherry crumble bars and fresh cherries on it.

Two weeks ago I bought a huge bag of cherries because they were on sale.   I made several desserts and then promptly forgot about them..

While I was looking in the refrigerator yesterday I noticed they were starting to look a little rough.  I didn’t want to waste them so I decided to make an easy dessert to use them up.

Cherry Cookie Bars sounded like the perfect dessert.   The cookie layer and the crumble topping are both made with the same dough so it’s easy to make.

A cutting board with a bowl of cherries, a bowl of sugar, a measuring cup of flour, a stick of butter, and vanilla extract on it.

Ingredients:

  • fresh cherries
  • lemon juice
  • all purpose flour
  • salt (sea salt is preferred)
  • vanilla extract
  • almond extract (or almond paste)
  • granulated sugar
  • baking powder
  • butter (I like to use salted)
  • egg

To start making the bars I first pitted and halved the cherries.  If you do not have a cherry pitter the time to buy one is now.  It makes pitting cherries a breeze!

what type of cherries should I use?

Depending on what flavor you are looking for you can use sweet or tart cherries.  I prefer to use sweet cherries like Bing cherries or Rainier cherries.  With sweet cherries the crumble will have a balanced sweetness and a rich, juicy filling. You can reduce the amount of added sugar in your crumble topping if you use sweet cherries, as they are already quite sweet

The other way you can go is a tart cherry like Montmorency cherries.  Sour cherries are a popular choice for crumbles because of their tartness, which provides a nice contrast to the sweet crumble topping. They lend a vibrant and tangy flavor to the filling that many people enjoy. 

A pan with an unbaked Cherry Crumble Bar.

Once the cherries are pitted they are tossed with a bit of lemon juice. Then a mixture of flour, sugar, salt, vanilla and almond extracts are combined with them.  I like to use Taylor & Colledge Almond Paste Extract because I think it has the best almond flavor.  This makes the filling of the crumble bars.

To make the crust and crumble topping you will need to combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar with cold butter.   It’s important that your butter is chilled to make the actual crumble.

why do you need chilled butter to make a crumble?

Using cold butter when making a crumble is essential for achieving the desired texture and structure of the crumble topping. Cold butter is solid which means that when it’s mixed with the other dry ingredients, it creates small pockets of butter within the mixture. These pockets melt during baking, creating steam which results in a flaky and tender texture.

The goal of a crumble topping is to have a mixture of larger and smaller clumps that are crunchy and crisp when baked. Cold butter helps to create this by coating the dry ingredients and forming uneven pieces when mixed together. 

A pan of cherry crumble bars golden brown out of the oven.

Press half of the mixture into the bottom of your pan to form the crust of the cookie.   Then spread the cherry mixture over top of the cookie mixture in the pan.  Crumble to remaining crust mixture on top of the bars. 

Bake the mixture until the top is golden brown.   The filling should be juicy and starting to bubble up. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

how do I store the crumble bars?

You can store them in the pan you bake them in with foil or plastic wrap covering them.   You can also cut them into squares and store them in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

Once the bars have cooled completely cut them into squares and enjoy.   My first bite into the bars had me thinking that I needed to get them out of the house before I ate them all!

These bars are delicious.   The crust is buttery, the filling tastes like almonds and cherries, and the topping was crunchy and delicious.   I loved everything about them!

more cherry recipes:

When my husband came home he couldn’t believe that I had whipped them up spur of the moment.  He loved them as much as I did and couldn’t wait to try them along with a cup of coffee.

A close up of a hand holding a cherry crumble bar with a bite taken out of it.

So if you like cherries run, don’t walk, to make these tasty Cherry Crumble Bars!

If you’ve tried my Copycat Starbucks Coconut Lime Bars or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:

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A platter with four cherry crumble bars and fresh cherries on it.

Cherry Crumble Bars

buttery cookie bars filled with fresh cherries and almond flavoring that is topped off with a sweet crumble layer.
5 from 18 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Author: Hezzi-D

Ingredients

For the cherry filling:

  • 3 c. cherries pitted and halved
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the crust and crumble:

  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 c. 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  • To make the cookie bars preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Spray an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 baking dish and set aside.
  • To make the cherry filling put the pitted and halved cherries in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice.
  • Add in the flour, cornstarch, sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
  • Gently mix to combine. Set aside.
  • To make the crust whisk together the flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  • Add the butter and mix with a fork or your fingers until a coarse crumble has formed.
  • Stir in the almond and egg and mix well.
  • Pour half of the crumble mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Press it into the bottom of the pan.
  • Spread the cherry mixture evenly over the bottom crust.
  • Crumble the remaining crumble mixture on top of the cherry layer to form the crumble topping.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cherry mixture is bubbly.
  • Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Can't Stay out of the Kitchen.
Pin Image: Text title, a platter with four cherry crumble bars on it.
5 from 18 votes (18 ratings without comment)

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