Quick and Easy Cherry Squares

OK – let’s imagine a scenario. You just remembered you promised to bring a dessert to a friend’s party – but you forgot all about it. You check in the cupboards… nothing there but a can of fruit pie filling. Let’s say it’s cherry. “Just great”, you think, “What am I gonna do with that?”

Easy answer – If you’ve also got flour, butter, eggs and sugar – which most of us usually have on hand – then you’re minutes away from putting the cherry (or blueberry etc.) fruit squares into the oven!

You’ll be beloved.  Everyone will ask for the recipe. Perhaps you’ll end on television, preparing these Quick and Easy Cherry Squares for your adoring public… OK – enough with the daydreaming. But I can guarantee you that these will be a big hit. And, if you have time to drop by a Quikie-Mart on the way to the party for vanilla ice cream or a can of whipped cream – then you’ll be even more beloved. Enjoy! 

++ You can use any canned fruit pie filling you wish, like blueberry or apple, if you prefer.

++ Oven at 350 F      Bake for 50 minutes     Can be served either warm or cold


  • 2 sticks butter or margarine, softened   (Unwrap & microwave for 20 seconds.)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling  (Or blueberry etc.)

Grease and flour at 10″ x 13″ pan or casserole. (I like to use “Wilton’s Cake Release).
In a large bowl – using electric mixer – mix 2 sticks softened butter, 2 cups sugar and 4 eggs until well blended. (About a minute.) Add 3 cups flour,1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp. almond extract, and, again, mix until blended.

Spread about three-quarters of the batter in the pan. On top of the batter, spread the entire can of fruit pie filling.  ++ Be sure to put about 3/4s of the batter on the bottom of the pan – or – the middle may not cook properly!

Quick and Easy Cherry SquaresDrop large spoonfuls of the batter on top of the pie filling. (The spoonfuls of dough won’t cover the whole top – the fruit should peek through.) With your fingers, pat down the dough a bit to flatten it out.   Bake at 350 F for 50 – 55 minutes.   Enjoy!

Quick and Easy Cherry Squares - baked - fixedCherry Squares - Naomi's Photo

++  My friend Naomi recently made Quick and Easy Cherry Squares.  I think I’m gonna have some blogging competition if I don’t watch out!  

Great job Naomi – glad your & your husband enjoyed them!

M and C’s Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

FINAL CUT - M and C Choc and Oatmeal bars

A few weeks before Christmas I attended a really fun and well-organized event at my grandchildren’s grade school in Pennsylvania. It was a craft fair – but the kids all got to MAKE the crafts, all of which they could give away as gifts, if they so desired. Among the choices were a Christmas ornament, a really cute little pin with beads and a snowflake (which I was given for Christmas!) and “Snowman Soup”, which was made of instant cocoa mix, some marshmallows and a Hershey’s kiss, with a little candy cane tossed in for a stirrer – yummy!!. The table where you could make the always-popular Cookie Mix in a Jar was one of the busiest – and I was lucky enough to receive two of those!!

USE - M & C's CookiesAs my sons can attest, I’m not a very good cookie-baker. I tend to over-bake them, for some reason. Once, while chatting with a friend on the phone, I banged a cookie on the counter and asked her to guess what it was. She said, “A hammer?” “No”, I replied, just a tad embarrassed, “It’s a cookie!”

With my many cookie failures in mind, I decided to make “bars” with the two containers of cookie mix – and I’m glad I did. The bars turned out dense and moist, and, dare I say “hearty” due to the addition of the oatmeal. As a finishing touch, and, because there’s no walnuts in the mix.. AND … because you can never have too much chocolate, I melted a cup of morsels, spread them over the cooked bars and then sprinkled on chopped walnuts.   Enjoy!

Oven at 350     30 minutes     10′ x 13′ pan      Makes 32 bars… 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″

Use - M & C Choc Oatmeal Bars    

Ingredients  – don’t worry about “leveling” the dry ingredients. At the craft fair, they don’t bother (or have the time).

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups NOT PACKED brown sugar
  • 1 cup oatmeal – not instant
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup) – remove packaging, microwave on high for 30 secs.
  • 3 eggs
  •  1 Tbs. hot water
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbs. Crisco
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a medium-sized bowl, place all the dry ingredients. Then add the softened butter, 3 eggs, 1 Tbs. hot water and 2 tsp. vanilla.

Spread the batter evenly in the 10″ x 13″ pan. I give you my permission to use your fingers, which will get really, really sticky but you can always lick the dough from them once you’re done mixing.  (I’m a big proponent of using (clean) hands when dealing with thick cookie doughs.)

Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. The bars will be golden brown and a bit “bumpy” looking.

In a microwavable bowl or glass measuring cup, place 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 Tbs. Crisco –  microwave on high for 1 minutes. Take out and stir. Then microwave again – but this time for only 30 seconds. Spread the chocolate glaze evenly over the bars. Sprinkle with the 1/2 cups chopped walnuts. Allow bars to cool, then cut with a sharp knife into 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2 ” squares.  Enjoy!

 M & C's Chocolate and Oatmeal Bars

Old-Fashioned Apple Squares

Apple Squares - 2 -

You know you’re getting o.l.d when the recipe you’re searching for is over 30 years old !! Imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when I actually found it – not filed under “bars” but filed under “apples” – but found, nevertheless!!

These apple squares (or bars) are even tastier than I remember!! They’re loaded with apples, nuts and raisins, and have a buttery, cinnamony goodness – so you can even eat them for breakfast!!

                                              MAKES ABOUT 24 SQUARES – or BARS

  • Oven at 350 F
  • Lightly grease a 9″ x !0″ pan
  • Bake 45 – 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.


  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups roughly chopped peeled and cored apples
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 raisins (Try the raisins even if you don’t always like raisins. They kind of “melt away” into the batter, and give the resulting bars a lovely sweetness and golden dark color.)

In a medium-sized bowl – using a mixer – cream together the vanilla, both sugars and 2 eggs until creamy and throughly mixed.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt & nutmeg. Add the creamed mixture to the dry mixture, and mix by hand until throughly blended.

Add the apples, walnuts and raisins – mix by hand until throughly blended

Pour into the greased pan, spreading with the spoon to get the mixture even.

Bake at 350 F for between 45 – 50 minutes.  When cooled, cut with a sharp knife. Enjoy!