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Cherry Marshmallow Cookie Bars

Cherry Marshmallow Cookie Bars. So easy to make using Jello jelly powder and chopped maraschino cherries, all on a simple shortbread like cookie base.

Cherry Marshmallow Cookie Bars

Cherry Marshmallow Cookie Bars

Okay, so these Cherry Marshmallow Cookie Bars are basically the exact same recipe as my recent Lime Marshmallow version. I’ve changed the flavour here though and added a few sweet pieces of maraschino cherry to show another idea to dress these up, especially for the holidays.

Marshmallows are pretty susceptible to moisture, so I made sure that I cut the carries and patted them dry on paper towels before folding them in. Glacé cherries would work just as well, I think.

One thing I might try next time though, is freezing or partially freezing the cookie bars before cutting them. This might make for a cleaner cut.

This recipe does show that it is easy to make these in any available flavour you like and that you can make some additions to them. I’m wondering what a lemon version might be like with some candied lemon zest mixed in or scattered on top.

Cherry Marshmallow Cookie Bars

Cherry Marshmallow Cookie Bars

The lime marshmallow version was instantly popular on Facebook and Pinterest, so I add this one as a separate recipe just to make it easier for those who might search for this particular recipe by name.

I’ve received several messages and comments from folks who have made the traditional Newfoundland version of this recipe using plain gelatine. If you want to use that version, I’s suggest adding another cup of sugar mixed with 2 envelopes of unflavoured gelatine as a substitute for the jello powder and proceed as directed. You can use flavour extracts like vanilla, peppermint or lemon to flavour the marshmallow portion.

Cherry Marshmallow Bars, image with title text

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Raisin Filled Cookies


5 from 2 votes
Cherry Marshmallow Cookie Bars
Cherry Marshmallow Cookie Bars
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
Cherry Marshmallow Cookie Bars - so easy to make using Jello jelly powder and chopped maraschino cherries, all on a simple shortbread like cookie base.
Course: Cookes
Cuisine: North American
Servings: 3 dozen cookie bars
Author: Barry C. Parsons
For the cookie base
  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
For the marshmallow top layer
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 pkg cherry Jello powder (4 oz/ 85 g each)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup preferably light
  • 1/2 cup dried unsweetened or sweetened coconut to garnish top; optional
  • 3/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries
For the cookie base.
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter, brown sugar and vanilla well until light coloured and fluffy.
  3. Fold in the flour to form a soft dough.
  4. Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown around the edges.
  6. Remove from oven and cool completely before adding the top layer.
To prepare the marshmallow layer.
  1. NOTE: You are going to want to keep the temperature on low throughout this stage. You don't want the mixture to boil; just keep the heat steady to allow you to fully dissolve the jelly powder and sugar.
  2. In a small saucepan bring the water to a boil and reduce the burner setting to low.
  3. Add the 2 pkg of Jello powder and stir continuously until it is completely dissolved. This can take 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add the sugar and again, continue to stir over low heat until the sugar is fully dissolved with no sugar grains left at the bottom of the pan. This may take 4-5 more minutes or so.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the corn syrup.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a very clean glass or metal bowl or the bowl of your electric mixer.
  7. Chill in the fridge for about a half hour, stirring occasionally until the mixture is just lukewarm. It should not be hotter than lukewarm, nor should it me too cold.
  8. When the jello mixture reaches the lukewarm point, begin beating it at high speed with the whisk attachment on your electric mixer. Beat for 10-12 minutes or until very thick and fluffy.
  9. Fold in the chopped cherries
  10. Spread the marshmallow layer over the cooled cookie layer and sprinkle with coconut if you like.
  11. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours or overnight before cutting into cookie bars.
  12. Store in airtight containers. These freeze particularly well for several weeks.

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Recipe Rating

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Wednesday 27th of December 2023

My grandma used to make these (using gelatin packets and making the marshmallow from scratch). I've made marshmallow from scratch loads of times but I could never master her recipe - I used to joke that she purposely left out an ingredient or a step so nobody could make them as good as she could LOL. This is heaps easier and tastes almost the same. I will be using this one going forward!


Saturday 11th of December 2021

Hi … I started to make this and I have a question. In making the marshmallow part… Jello already has sugar so is it absolutely necessary to add more sugar? … I have to watch my sugar intake ☹️.

Lynn Parsons

Monday 13th of December 2021

It is an indulgent treat for sure but we have never tried using less sugar. I don’t think the texture would be the same.

Susan Crawford

Monday 26th of November 2018

Seems like an amazing recipe! I'm a huge fan of cherries and jello so I can't wait to try this out!


Saturday 7th of January 2017

What measurement of chopped maraschino cherries?

Barry C. Parsons

Sunday 8th of January 2017

Oops, fixed now.

Circle Bars

Thursday 22nd of December 2016

Thank You Once again for this recipe. It's sound Really good

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