I really love making bar cookies. With just a little effort you get a large return.
I’m also a little obsessed with almond paste right now, too. I just love the flavor.
The original recipe uses coconut in the streusel, but since cherry and almonds have a natural affinity towards each other, I thought I would use the almond paste instead. I must say it turned out quite well.
The filling is so simple. Just toss together the dried cherries, kirsch (this bottle will last you forever) and the cherry preserves. Give it a whirl in a small food chopper. Set aside.
Now let’s get started on our shortbread crust. In a food processor mix your crust ingredients together. Once it comes together (be sure that you reserve 1 cup for the topping) then press the dough onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
With the tines of the fork poke holes into the crust. Bake for about 18-22 minutes or just until lightly golden brown.
In the past I have found almond paste wrapped in little logs, never in a can. Still the same. I just adore the flavor of this stuff.
Now mix together the reserved 1 cup dough with the almond paste, oats, brown sugar and sliced almonds.
Spread the cherry filling mixture onto the top of the shortbread crust.
Then evenly crumble the streusel onto the top. Lightly pressing the streusel into the cherry mixture. Bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. Make sure the cookie is cooled before you cut into bars.
These are not too sweet and pair perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.