Tag Archives: sweet cherries

Sweet Cherry Sugar Cookie Crumble

Sweet Cherry Sugar Cookie CrumbleCherry season is late this year, but it’s finally here. Thank goodness for that—otherwise, you might have to wait a year to make this Sweet Cherry Sugar Cookie Crumble. That would be a shame. I mean, who doesn’t need another quick & easy crowd-pleasing summer dessert in their repertoire?!Sweet Cherry Sugar Cookie CrumbleSweet Cherry Sugar Cookie Crumble is exactly what it sounds like: a layer of soft sweet cherry filling topped with a crispy sugar cookie crumb. Where crisps have oats and nuts to contrast with the fruit beneath, this crumble relies instead on a craggy layer of buttery topping. Some of the crumb mixture will sink into the fruit as it bakes and remain soft, too, so there are all sorts of great textural things happening.Sweet Cherry Sugar Cookie CrumbleThis is the sort of dessert that can be made in an hour start-to-finish and be served warm from the oven—no need for fussing over delicate pastry or waiting hours for molten filling to become cool enough to slice.Sweet Cherry Sugar Cookie CrumbleSweet Cherry Sugar Cookie CrumbleSweet Cherry Sugar Cookie CrumbleSweet Cherry Sugar Cookie CrumbleTo make this crumble, toss together a quick fresh cherry filling and tip it into a baking dish. Next up, stir together the sugar cookie crumble, which is just the crumb topping from my Double Funfetti Crumb Cake without the sprinkles.Sweet Cherry Sugar Cookie CrumbleScatter that over the top of the cherries and then bake the whole thing at 375F until the crumb is golden and the fruit is bubbling and tender. Let it cool about ten minutes before spooning the hot crumble into bowls and topping it with vanilla ice cream.Sweet Cherry Sugar Cookie CrumbleEat. Go for seconds. Repeat.Sweet Cherry Sugar Cookie Crumble

Sweet Cherry Sugar Cookie Crumble
makes 8-10 servings

Cherry Filling:
2 pounds fresh or frozen (thawed) sweet cherries, pitted
1/3-1/2 cup granulated sugar (depending on preference & sweetness of fruit)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

Sugar Cookie Crumble:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

For serving (optional):
vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.

Make the cherry filling. In a medium mixing bowl, combine sweet cherries, sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice, and almond extract. Toss together until combined. Transfer to baking dish and create an even layer. Set aside.

Make the sugar cookie crumble. In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add vanilla and melted butter and stir until dry ingredients are saturated and clumps form.

Use your fingers to evenly distribute crumble over the top of the cherry filling. Bake crumble 25-30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.

Let crumble cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Top with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to four days. Warm before serving.Sweet Cherry Sugar Cookie CrumbleSweet Cherry Sugar Cookie CrumbleSweet Cherry Sugar Cookie Crumble

Sweet Cherry Shortbread Bars

Sweet Cherry Shortbread BarsWhy is it that I always want to make pie when I simply don’t have the time? I would love to take a week off of work just to make pie and drink cold brew, but I know for a fact that I would make exactly one pie and spend the rest of the week trying to get to the beach.

Sweet Cherry Shortbread BarsI’m looking forward to many adventures this summer, but for now, it’s mostly business as usual: lots of work, lots of baseball-watching, lots of late nights, pounds and pounds of seasonal fruit, and every intention of making pie. But again, there is no time for all the rolling and cutting and chilling that goes with pie. Not this week, anyway. I think I’ll just stick with these Sweet Cherry Shortbread Bars instead.

Sweet Cherry Shortbread BarsThese bars have everything you love about sweet cherry pie, but are half the work. Less than half, even. There’s buttery crust and crunchy, nubbly topping. There’s sticky, not-too-sweet cherry filling. And there’s exactly zero chilling, rolling, crimping, and railing at the universe because the heat is melting all the butter in your must-must-must-stay-cold pie dough. That’s my kind of summer day dessert.

Sweet Cherry Shortbread BarsSweet Cherry Shortbread Bars come together fairly quickly and are very simple to make. Leave your mixer in the cabinet–you won’t need it today. Just fold together a couple pounds of pitted sweet cherries (feel free to use frozen), sugar, nutmeg, cornstarch, and salt. I like to add a bit of almond extract too, as it pairs well with cherries, but feel free to leave it out if you don’t have any or are allergic to tree nuts. The filling will look powdery at first, but it will release some liquid as it sits.

The next step is making the shortbread. I freaking love shortbread. It requires minimal ingredients and ability, and is far more than the sum of its parts. Here, it serves as both the crust and the topping. To make this shortbread, just rub cold butter into a mixture of flour, sugar, and salt. A cohesive dough will not form–the mixture will be powdery overall, but should hold together when pinched. Once the butter is broken down in the dry ingredients, set aside a cup of the mixture for topping.

Sweet Cherry Shortbread BarsSweet Cherry Shortbread BarsSweet Cherry Shortbread BarsNext, assemble the bars. Pour the remaining shortbread mixture into a foil-lined square baking dish and press it into an even layer. Then, dock it with a fork.

Sweet Cherry Shortbread BarsSweet Cherry Shortbread BarsSweet Cherry Shortbread BarsTop the crust with the cherry mixture, discarding any excess liquid. Grab that reserved cup of the shortbread mixture. Working with just a little bit at a time, pinch it together and scatter little clumps of dough over the cherries. When that’s done, bake the assembled bars for 40-50 minutes, transferring the pan to the bottom rack at the halfway point. You’ll know they’re done when the filling just barely jiggles when the pan is jostled. Oh, and when your kitchen smells incredible 😊

Sweet Cherry Shortbread BarsAnd now, for the hard part–cooling. Sweet Cherry Shortbread Bars must cool to room temperature before you slice them. It’s the difference between the clean edges you see here and a gooey, crumbly mess. If you are short on time (or just impatient), you may place the pan in the freezer once you can handle it without oven mitts. It’ll bring the bars to room temperature in 45 minutes or so.

Once the bars are cool, use the foil overhang to remove them to a cutting board and peel off the foil. I find this easiest to do by removing the foil on the sides, slicing the bars, and then using a thin spatula to lift them from the foil on the bottom. However you go about it though, you’re in for a treat. 

Sweet Cherry Shortbread BarsLook at these beauties! That buttery, flaky shortbread and the beautiful cherry filling–I can’t get enough. Who needs pie when you can have Sweet Cherry Shortbread Bars?!Sweet Cherry Shortbread Bars

Sweet Cherry Shortbread Bars
makes one 9-inch square pan, about 9 bars

Cherry Filling:
2 pounds whole sweet red cherries, stemmed and pitted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)

Shortbread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes

Place oven racks in top and bottom positions. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, leaving overhang on two sides. Grease foil with butter. Set aside.

Make cherry filling. In a large mixing bowl, combine pitted cherries, sugar, nutmeg, cornstarch, salt, and almond extract. Fold everything together with a silicone spatula. Set aside, stirring occasionally, while you make the shortbread.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold butter. Use your fingertips to rub butter into flour until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. It will be powdery, but should hold together when pinched. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture for topping.

Pour remaining shortbread mixture into prepared pan. Spread it around to cover the bottom of the pan before using your hand to pack it down into an even layer. Prick several times with a fork. Pour cherries over the top, discarding any excess liquid.

For the topping, use your fingers to pinch together small portions of the reserved shortbread mixture. Scatter them over the top of the cherry layer.

Bake bars on the top rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Move bars to the bottom rack and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, until the filling just barely jiggles when the pan is jostled. Tent with foil if anything begins to brown too quickly. Let bars cool in the pan on a rack until they reach room temperature.

Use foil overhang to remove bars to a cutting board. Carefully peel off foil (see post above for my method). Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice into nine squares. Serve.

Leftover Sweet Cherry Shortbread Bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to four.

Sweet Cherry Shortbread Bars