Valentine’s Day should have cherries! After all…. life is just a bowl full of cherries. ;)
These Cherry Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Icing are a delectable treat! They remind me of a lofthouse cookie in texture, but even better because they are super moist! The cherry taste comes from actual maraschino cherries that have been chopped up. Top it all off with cream cheese icing. and wow… it’s a winner!
I had fun decorating these bars. It was SO easy too. I just slapped on the icing and cut them up. I sprinkled them heavily with gold stars and edible pearls. The little hearts are made with Cherry Taffy that has been cut out with a tiny cookie cutter and dipped in red and pink sugar!
- I jar of marachino cherries minced finely (save 4 Tbsp. of the juice)
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp. Pure Almond Extract
- 4 or 5 cups flour (start with 4 cups and move up to 5 cups if needed- dough should feel like a cookie)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- pink or red food coloring is optional
- 8 oz. Cream Cheese softened
- 1 stick of butter softened
- 2-3 cups of confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- food coloring is optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 in pan with parchment paper.
- In an electric mixer cream butter and sugar until it is a light consistency, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Stir in vanilla, cherry juice and almond extract. . In another bowl mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture, until just combined. Mix in cherries by hand until thoroughly incorporated. Spread into the parchment lined baking pan. Bake for 10-22 minutes, a tester should come out clean. Allow to cool completely before icing.
- To make icing: Combine the butter and cream cheese in a mixer on medium. Once it is a smooth consistency add powdered sugar on low ½ cup at a time. Once it is incorporated whip it on high for 2 minutes. Add any food coloring at this point and mix well. Spread onto the cookie bars.
So pretty and tasty!