Cherry Kuchen Bars

I’d like to say that this German dessert recipe has been passed down in my family for generations. 

The truth is though, that we’re not German and my mother and I found this incredible kuchen recipe in an old Betty Crocker cookbook (and the Betty Crocker brand is about as American as it gets).  It sounds cooler when we tell people that our German ancestors brought it over seas when they moved to America.  Feel free to borrow our lie this Christmas if you choose to bring these delicious bars to a holiday party.

– Kate Randall, Transaction Coordinator

Cherry Kuchen Bars

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup shortening
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 21-ounce can cherry pie filling
Powdered Sugar Icing (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds.  Add sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Beat until combined scraping sides of bowl occasionally.  Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.  Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.  Stir any remaining dough evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 15X10X1 inch baking pan.

Bake for 12 minutes.  Take out pan and spread pie filling evenly over partially baked crust.  Spoon the reserved dough into small mounds across top of pie filling.  Bake about 30 minutes more or until top is light brown.   Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Icing (see below).  Cool completely and cut into bars.  Makes 32 bars.

Powdered Sugar Icing

In a small bowl combine 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, ¼ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract, and enough milk (3 to 4 teaspoons) to make icing smooth and of drizzling consistency.


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