Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Desserts

pumpkin-roll

Libby’s Pumpkin Roll

PB-chocolate-brownies

Brownies with PB Chips, Mini PB Cups, & Chocolate PB Ganache

almond-cherry-pie-bars

Cherry Almond Pie Bars

Here are the three desserts I made for Thanksgiving.  They were all very good but the surprise standout was the almond cherry pie bars.   Everyone thought thought they were amazing.  Even those that normally go for the pumpkin or chocolate desserts went back for seconds of the pie bars.  Another plus, besides their overall deliciousness they are also waaaay easier than baking an actual pie!

This recipe comes by way of Amanda’s Cookin’ and her blackberry pie squares recipe.  (If you haven’t yet, check her out.  I’ve made a few of her recipes and have been please with each one.  She also has a pretty cool craft blog. )  I’ve adapted her recipe twice now.  The first time I used Lucky Leaf’s blueberry pie filling and upped the lemon factor by adding the zest of one lemon to the sugar. This time around I used Lucky Leaf’s cherry pie filling and subbed in almond extract for the vanilla. 

Almond Cherry Pie Bars, adapted from Amanda’s Cookin'

Bars:

1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temp
4 eggs, room temp
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
30 ounces cherry pie filling,* (21 oz. is one can of pie filling but I added another half a can)

Glaze:

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons heavy cream, enough to make the glaze pourable

1/4 teaspoon of almond extract

almond-cherry-pie-bars1

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream sugar and butter in mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add the almond and beat well. Whisk together flour and baking powder. Turn mixer speed down to lowest setting and slowly add flour mixture until completely combined.

Spread half of mixture onto an ungreased 15x10 jelly roll pan. (Amanda weighted hers out.) Spread pie filling over the top of the batter. Drop remaining batter onto the pie filling layer by spoonfuls.  Spread gently.  (I use a damp offset spatula to do this. Don’t worry about it not being perfect.  It all works out.)

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. (I took mine out at 38 minutes. Do not under bake. Remove to a wire rack.

Whisk together the powdered sugar, melted butter, and heavy cream.  Drizzle over warm bars. (Toasted almond slices would be nice sprinkled on top.  I didn’t add them because my Dad doesn’t care much for nuts. He’s weird! :))

Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Printable recipe

*Note:

lucky-leaf

I have been very fortunate to receive Lucky Leaf’s pie fillings.  Each one I have tried has been wonderful.  In the past I’ve never cared for the other brands I’ve tried. I found that they were too sweet and artificial tasting.  Not so with Lucky Leaf.  And for those of you staying away from high fructose corn syrup you’ll be happy to hear that Lucky Leaf’s does not contain any!

Disclosure:  While I received Lucky Leaf pie fillings to try.  The opinions expressed here are all my own.



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