Due to the fact that I have an extremely large sweet tooth, I don’t often bake. You see, the problem with there only being two people in a household is that you often feel obligated to eat what you’ve made and when we’re talking about sweet concoctions that aren’t exactly on the same calorie level as carrots and celery, this can be very bad indeed. I have however, gotten into a habit of baking sweets, sampling them, but then giving the rest for D to take into work. That is I think the ideal win win situation. I get to try out a recipe, I get to sample the results of said completed recipe, and most importantly, I don’t add pounds in the process. Score!
It had been a while since I made anything from my Magnolia Bakery cookbook and so I was happy to find a new recipe to try. (Remember, that’s the famous over hyped bakery in New York City that after visiting there myself in 2012, I decided that my baking efforts from the cookbook are infinitely better than anything you can buy at the bakery.)
While I would have loved to have tried out one of their cake recipes, three layer cakes can be time consuming and so I went to the cookies and bars/squares chapter instead. When I saw the recipe for the cherry squares, my decision was made due to the simple nature of the recipe. Bonus point was finding reduced fat cherry pie filling at my supermarket (and for all the naysayers out there, it still tasted too sweet almost).
I enjoyed the squares-they tasted like a much softer version of shortbread and obviously were enhanced by the lovely cherry topping.
Shelly’s Cherry Squares
Recipe via The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook by Allysa Torey and Jennifer Appel
1/2 up (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup canned cherry pie filling
Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Grease and lightly flour a 13 x 9-inch baking pan
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla. Add the flour and mix thoroughly.
Spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan. With a small, sharp knife, score into twenty-four 2-inch squares.
Place a teaspoon of cherry pie filling on each scored square. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean.
Allow to cool to room temperature, then sprinkle generously with confectioners’ sugar before cutting and serving.
MAKES TWENTY-FOUR 2-INCH SQUARES