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Friday, April 20, 2012

Aunt Sonja's Cherry Squares




There are some recipes you can't remember tasting for the first time because they have always been in your life. This is one of those for me. I just remember eating them growing up, and loving them immensely. I've already confessed my love for cherry pie filling, so maybe that plays into it. But, I don't know, it feels like more than that.

In some strange way, I identify with these Cherry Squares -- they're not fancy, but they're a little elegant. They're not complicated, but they're not too simple either. They're a little old fashioned, but never outdated. But most of all they're completely delicious, which is why you should try them. Right now.






My favorite thing about them, apart from the cherries, is the almond extract in the batter. Almond and cherries are MFEO (made for each other). {Name that movie and you get a gold star} So yummy!


Aunt Sonja's Cherry Squares
PRINTABLE RECIPE

Ingredients:
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1 lg. can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling

Directions:
Cream butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then beat in the extracts. Gradually mix in the flour until well incorporated.
Spread 3/4 of the batter in the bottom of a 9"x13" pan lined with parchment paper. Scoop cherry pie filling over batter in pan.
Drop remaining batter by spoonfuls over the cherries. (I often use a small cookie scoop and spread the globs out a bit with my fingers.)
Bake at 375 for 45 min. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

After being baked and sliced into squares, they can be frozen for up to three months, if you're so inclined.





66 comments :

  1. MFEO...Sleepless in Seattle!

    These look so yummy!

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    Replies
    1. Gold star to you, chris! That movie is such a classic.

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    2. I have made these for years and every place I take them they get raves and everyone wants the recipe! THEY ARE THAT GOOD!!!!

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    3. In the recipe she forgot to write how much flour you need. Do you know?
      nancyvankessel@gmail.com

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    4. Does anyone know how much flour is needed, she forgot to put it in the ingredients but it is in the directions.
      nancyvankessel@gmail.com

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    5. 3 cups of flour, as listed in the ingredients.

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  2. I don't know your Aunt Sonya but I have this recipe from way back when - just looking at your pic has me salivating! This is a gem of a dessert or brunch and always gets raves. Might be on the baking schedule for the weekend, just picked up cherries yesterday. thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. I don't know where she got the recipe -- I should really ask her. In my opinion, these are always a good idea. Happy baking!

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  3. Oh it looks so moist, tart and delicious! I'd willingly go into a sugar coma with a plate of your cherry squares! Found you on TasteSpotting and so glad that I did! Have a great weekend!

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    Replies
    1. Welcome, Julia! I hope you have a great weekend, too!

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  4. These look incredible! I wonder how they would do with cherry preserves (the ones with chunks of cherry in them) instead of cherry pie filling? I don't know much about what's in the pie filling vs. cherry preserves but I would love to make these! They look almost like they have cream cheese in them. Great photos. :) Looks like a fantastic recipe!

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    1. I'm guessing cherry preserves might work fine. Pie filling is usually fruit and sugar thickened with a cornstarch/water slurry. Preserves are usually fruit and sugar thickened with pectin. The only problem I can imagine is that it would take quite a lot of preserves to equal the amount you'll need, which could get pricey. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

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  5. So easy and looks so good! I have some homemade cherry pie filling waiting to be used - this would be perfect. Can't wait to try it.

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! They really are quite simple to make. I hope you love them!

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  6. Love these squares! The butter really helps all the ingredients come together into such a delicious bite. Your beautiful picture inspires me to bake again, I'm going to remember to take cherry squares, the next time I need to contribute to an event. Everyone always wants the recipe! Marjean

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  7. I still make these all the time since you first fed them to me. Except in my recipe box they are labeled as "kritten bug cherry stuff"

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  8. These. Look. Heavenly.

    I was searching for a Trader Joe's recipe and found you by accident - pinning this one and I'll be here awhile!

    p.s. I love cherry pie filling, too.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! These are pretty darn heavenly. Thanks for the pin, too!

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  9. Krystyn - Had to follow up, made these on Sunday! What a delightful flavor. Thanks again for posting!

    Helena

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    1. Thanks for your follow-up comment, Helena! I'm so pleased they worked for you! Enjoy!

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  10. Easy, delicious, lovely, AND you're telling me I can freeze them ahead of time? This recipe is definitely going on the "must make" list for my (self-catered) wedding!

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    Replies
    1. I am definitely telling you all those things, and I'm beyond tickled pink that you would consider serving them at your wedding! Best wishes on your big day!

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  11. These look fantastic! I'm tempted to gild the lily by adding a cream cheese swirl, something along the lines of the one in this brownie recipe:

    http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/cream-cheese-swirl-brownies/868896b5-84a3-4c64-af34-58fb5a00470d

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    Replies
    1. You could definitely do something like that, but I think that takes away from the simplicity that I love so much. Would you marble it before or after you add the cherries? If you do it, let me know how you like it!

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  12. These are so simple and yet, so fabulous! Cherry pie filling is one of my guilty pleasures. These are just screaming at me to make them. How can I say no? Thanks for sharing!

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  13. I've been trying to find a cherry squares recipe for a couple years. I had some in Door County and couldn't stop thinking about them. I've been googling and finally I found yours. I made them last night and they are magnificent. The almond extract really makes them pop. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.
    kate~~

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    1. kate, I'm so glad you like them! I completely agree about the almond extract.

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    2. Door County caught my eye. Do you mean Door County WI because that is where I am from

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  14. Not a success...rats! Not sure what a "large" can of cherry preserves is supposed to be, but I used a 30 oz can and it made SOUP. The pic inspired me to bake, but was disappointing after the delicious smell for 45 minutes. Sorry.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear you had a bad experience with the recipe. When I get the chance, I'll update the recipe to specify how many ounces are in the can I use -- which I realize I should have done in the first place, so you have my apologies there.

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  15. I just ran across this and it looks amazing! I have a Question about the flour; All purpose or self- rising? Since it doesn't call for any leavening I'm thinking self-rising. I know this post is getting old now but if you see this, would you please respond? Thanks!

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    1. Hi, Lastofthecookers! The flour is regular, all-purpose flour. The eggs act as leavening, so there's no need for anything else. The result is a dense cake, not unlike pound cake. Happy baking!

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  16. I have a thing for cherry pie filling myself, I want to eat it with a spoon, no pie required! These look amazing, I have to try them :)

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  17. Made these last night for a get together. They were a HUGE hit! Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hooray! So happy to hear you liked them. Thanks for your comment!

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  18. i just made these and they are super good, and so simple to make! I love the crust. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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    Replies
    1. I'm so pleased you liked them! The cake portion IS so delicious, I agree. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

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  19. Hey Kristyn! I made these last night using Truvia Blend as the sugar. They turned out GREAT!! Everyone is right about the Almond Flavoring...really adds the pop to the flavor. Awesome!! Funny, my daughter Kristina is also a baker and has a website.

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  20. Hello Kristyn, This desert looks amazing & I'm ready to make them however I don't think I have quite enough flour. Do you think it would be okay to make them w/ Baking mix and get the same results? I sure do want these after dinner tonight just don't wanna go out to the store. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. P.S. I think I will try it. :)

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    1. Linda,
      I'm not sure how they would turn out with the baking mix. Keeping in mind that baking mix has leavening in it, I would venture to say that the texture will be different than with just flour. I'll be interested to hear how it turns out if you do try it. Good luck!

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  21. Saw your recipe on Huffinpost. I run a baked good stand at our local farmer's market and was looking for a new fruit bar recipe. It looks like it will be a best seller for sure! And..I'll keep the name--but will have to make up a story about Aunt Sonya.

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    1. I hope they're a hit for you! Thanks for your comment!

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  22. I used to make these all the time...but I cant remember...Are you supposed to pre-heat the oven?

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    1. Yes. Definitely. If not otherwise stated, it's usually safe to assume that the oven should be preheated.

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  23. I love this recipe and so does everyone else I make it for. That includes my son who is a picky eater. I usually get a little heavy handed with the almond extract, but even when I put more than the 1/2 tsp in they still taste great.

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    1. I'm so glad you love these! It's definitely easy to have too much of a good thing where almond extract is concerned -- good to know that a little too much won't ruin things. Thanks for your comment!

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  24. I made these for a school function I went to (I'm a high schooler) and when I went up to get some for myself, it was all gone! I make these all the time and I find the recipe to be extremely easy and I ALWAYS get compliments on them. I love this recipe!

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  25. I'm confused. Loved the picture, but mine looked nothing like yours and I followed the recipe to a "t". Mine ended up 2x taller and kinda dry and not pretty and glossy as in your picture. So I'm wondering if the repost has either too much flour and too many eggs? Delicious flavor but not the texture I was anticipating from your pictures.

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    1. I'm sad to hear that you aren't quite happy with how these turned out for you. I, too, follow the recipe to a "t" each time I make them, and the recipe is the same both times I have posted it to this site, just one has considerably better pictures.
      It may be that I have more practice in making them look pretty? Also worth considering is that the top picture is of a center piece, and those tend to be a tad under-baked (my favorite!) and probably moister than an edge piece would be.

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    2. I had the exact same result: mine were twice as thick as described, and the the cooking time was also much too long! I took them out after 38 minutes and was cursing myself for not having checked sooner, because they're very dry and the edges are burnt. I was also quite dubious about the number of eggs involved and as it happens, I'm finding the egg taste too strong. My pastry is also lacking the glossiness of what the photos here show. I think I'd make this again but swap out this very stretchy, sticky dough for a more standard shortbread. And cut 10 minutes off the baking time, too!

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    3. I'm sorry I'm sorry to hear these weren't a hit for you, Sandra.

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  26. Thank you for the recipe, it's delicious and simple to make, everything is balanced perfectly not too sweet not too sour, everyone loves it and can't get enough of it. Thanks again.

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  27. Great blog, all posts have something to learn. Your work is very good and i appreciate you and hopping for some more informative posts. Keep writing.

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  28. Thank you so much! I'm currently making these in the oven as I type this up.

    Batter was SO good! I had to force myself and my husband to stop 'tasting' it.

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  29. These are in the oven as we speak...worried that they're going to look unpleasing as I had so much difficulty with the dough, is it supposed to be super sticky?? How do you manage to spread it onto the pan with ease?

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that you had a difficult time with the batter. It is a bit sticky, but you don't need to spread it over the entire surface -- it should be patchy. I usually use a small scoop or two spoons to drop dollops of batter around the pan, then just spread them out a little with my fingers.
      Hope you enjoy them, even if they're a bit messier than you hoped.

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  30. You're like a famous blogger! I now feel even luckier to have sampled some of your goodies!

    -April

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  31. They sound very good can't wait to make them. Thank you!

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  32. They sound really good! I love finding new Cherry Recipes to try.

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  33. Making this for the first time. Looks good so far. They are baking right now. Did not have any parchment paper so I stayed with non stick cooking spray, hope it works.

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  34. Would you have the measurements for the UK equivalent, please?

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    1. I will work on that, but it might be a few days before I get the chance to update the site.

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  35. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who
    was doing a little homework on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast due
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    ReplyDelete

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