2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cans (21 ounces each) cherry pie filling
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the sides for easy removal.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Mix well.
Add the cold, cubed unsalted butter to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture over the butter-flour mixture and stir until the dough comes together. It may seem crumbly, but that’s okay.
Take about 2/3 of the dough and press it evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. This will form the crust.
In another bowl, combine the cherry pie filling and almond extract. Gently spread this cherry mixture over the crust in the pan.
Crumble the remaining 1/3 of the dough over the cherry filling. This will create a crumbly, streusel-like topping.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Remove the cherry pie bars from the oven and allow them to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Once cooled, you can refrigerate them for easier cutting.
When ready to serve, use the parchment paper overhang to lift the bars out of the pan. Place them on a cutting board and cut into squares or bars.
Optionally, dust the bars with powdered sugar for a lovely finishing touch.
Enjoy your homemade Cherry Pie Bars! They’re perfect for sharing with family and friends or indulging in a sweet treat for yourself.