Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mom's Cherry Squares, Remade

I remember my mom making cherry squares growing up.  I'm not sure how often she made them, but they were dangerously delicious.  They still are.  I decided that they can still be delicious, but be made a little healthier.  I'm not saying my version is healthy (after all, it's still a dessert), just more so than the original.  The taste was not much different!  Did you know that cherries are known for their anti-inflammatory properties?

In my recipe, I tell you how to easily make your own cherry pie filling.  You can make ahead the pie filling if you like, just refrigerate until ready to use.  I recommend this, because with time, the juices come out and create the sauce.  As for pitting fresh cherries, I use the OXO Good Grips Cherry Pitter.  We love it (my husband even helps with pitting cherries)!
 'Sweet Cherry' Pie Filling

4 cups sweet cherries, pitted
juice of 1/2 lemon (1-2 Tbsp)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

In a medium saucepan, stir ingredients and warm on med-high heat until sugar breaks down and dissolves.  Cover and reduce heat to med-low.  Heat them about 20 minutes to heat though and soften, stirring frequently.

Cherry Squares
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick butter
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla

Mix the ingredients together.  Spread 3/4 of the mix in a parchment-lined jelly-roll pan (10"x15"x1").  Spoon the cherry pie filling across the pan (on top).  It doesn't have to be a masterpiece, just make sure your cherries are somewhat evenly distributed.  The juices/sugar don't have to be evenly spread over every inch, just drizzled around.  Then spoon the remaining bar batter on.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or so.  The center needs to look cooked through before you pull it out.  Allow time to cool, then cut into bars.  Makes 24.

Have a delightful week!  Life is just a bowl of cherries~ just remember to throw out the pits!

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