President’s Day Cherry Bars are delicious, but they are also very quick and easy to make, since they start with a Basic Oatmeal Cookie Mix which can be made ahead and stored on your pantry shelves for up to six weeks, or refrigerated for six months or more.
Even though the story about George Washington chopping down the cherry tree is just an urban legend and didn’t actually happen, I still like to serve something with cherries on President’s day. It’s become a tradition in our household, and family members and friends expect it. I make these throughout the year, too, since they’re really good and can be assembled in minimum time.
Toasting the almonds brings out their flavor, and they make a great combination with the dried cherry filling. To toast almonds, spread them out on a baking sheet and bake in a 350° oven for about 10 minutes, or until they start to smell good,
President's Day Cherry Bars
24 Bars or Squares
2 cups dried cherries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon red food color, (optional)
5 cups Basic Oatmeal Cookie Mix
1/2 cup coarsely chopped and toasted almonds
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Spray a 9 x 9” baking pan with non-stick spray.
- Mix the filling ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and cool (it doesn’t need to be completely cool, just warm). I always put it in the freezer to speed up the cooling process.
- Mix the cookie mix with the almonds, almond extract, and water.
- Press 1/2 of the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Spread the filling evenly over the top of the cookie dough.
- Crumble the remaining dough mixture over the filling and press slightly to even it out.
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Cool and cut into bars or squares.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 197 Calories from Fat 82
Percent Total Calories From:
Fat 41% Protein 5% Carb. 53%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 79 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 3 g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 1% Calcium 0% Iron 1%