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Old Fashioned Cherry Bars

Old Fashioned Cherry Bars. A decades old recipe that’s easy to prepare and freeze really well too. They look very festive for the Holiday season.

Old Fashioned Cherry Bars close up photo of a single cookie bar

Old Fashioned Cherry Bars

I first spied these festive looking cookie bars in my Facebook feed. My friend Judy in Ontario had posted a photo of them as part of a baking haul she received from her next door neighbour.

They were included along with some very tempting Nanaimo Bars and Butter Tarts. The person they came from clearly was an avid and capable baker.

Old Fashioned Cherry Bars vertical photo with tea service

Old Fashioned Cherry Bars

They caught my eye because of the red and green glacé cherries. Naturally, I thought they would be perfect for the Holiday baking season.

I asked Judy if she could request the recipe and her neighbour Patsy kindly obliged by taking a photo of her hand written recipe.

Patsy's hand written recipe for cherry bars.

Patsy’s hand written recipe.

Judy remarked when she sent it to me that she loved old spattered recipes like this because it proved they were the best. Since the evidence that this was an often made recipe was clear, I could not help but agree.

I like to use both red and green glacé cherries for a more festive look.

When I asked Judy about her next door neighbour she wrote:

“Patsy comes from England. She was an expert Equestrian and Sailor. At 85 she is a Master Gardener and wonderful baker. Her home is often the Garden Tour. People far and wide consult her for tips.

Every few days, Patsy knocks at our door bringing treats she makes.”

Old Fashioned Cherry Bars mixture for top layer

The mixture for the top layer.

Now that sounds like a lady I would very much like to have tea and cookies with myself. Sounds like she’s had an interesting life.

Old Fashioned Cherry Bars, the results.

I was happy to get the recipe and set out a few days later to make them myself. They were so easy to make!

The base for Old Fashioned Cherry Bars

The shortbread base.

The buttery shortbread bottom was perfect with the sweet coconut and cherry topping. I added the optional pecans but after tasting them, I would definitely recommend adding them.

They add a whole other dimension of flavour and added crunch.

Old Fashioned Cherry Bars shown with a green teapot, red napkin and coffee cup

Old Fashioned Cherry Bars

These are now already in my Christmas freezer. I did pull a couple out a few days later and am happy to report that they froze beautifully and tasted fresh baked. 

Make them as an easy addition to your Christmas baking list.

You might also like to try some of our very popular recipes in our Best Newfoundland Christmas Cookies Collection. They are definitely worth making at any time of year!

Newfoundland Christmas Cookie Recipes photo collage for Pinterest

Newfoundland Christmas Cookie Recipes

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Old Fashioned Cherry Bars photo with title text for Pinterest

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Old Fashioned Cherry Bars close up photo of a single cookie bar
Yield: 36 cookie bars

Old Fashioned Cherry Bars

Old Fashioned Cherry Bars. A decades old recipe that's easy to prepare and freeze really well too. They look very festive for the Holiday season.

Ingredients

For the bottom layer

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 cup butter

For the top layer

  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups glacé cherries (cut in quarters)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup dried coconut, fine cut
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Instructions

  1. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan and line it with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the flour icing sugar and butter together by rubbing the butter through the flour and icing sugar with your hands until it resembles a coarse crumbs. You can do this quicker and easier in a food processor if you like.
  3. Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes until the bottom crust begins to brown around the edges. Remove from oven.
  5. Mix together the remaining ingredients until well combined and spread evenly over the bottom layer.
  6. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes until the top sets and gets a little golden colour.
  7. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares or bars.

Recommended Products

Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.

Nutrition Information

Yield

36

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 147Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 34mgSodium 57mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 1gSugar 10gProtein 2g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Mary Lou

Tuesday 1st of February 2022

Love these cookies. Made them for years. I call them mystery squares.

Vikki

Saturday 18th of December 2021

Sorry. I couldn't see what the text was because some add covered what I was printing. The statement I made should have said: I am so happy to see this recipe. Thank you. I used to make this every Christmas and Thanksgiving. With the exception; I used maraschino cherries instead of the candied cherries. Because of moves, I lost the recipe box that I used to have. Everyone loved these wonderful bars. Now I can make them again this year.

Vikki

Saturday 18th of December 2021

I am so happy to see this recipe. Thank you. I used to make this every christas and Thanksgiving. With the exception; the previous recipe that I used, used only maraschino cherries and everyone loved the bars.

Dawn

Sunday 20th of December 2020

Can you substitute maraschino cherries for the glazed? I find this a little sweet or should I cut back on the sugar? Otherwise the presentation and taste is great just too sweet for me.

Cheryl

Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Is this dried sweetened coconut?

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