Cherry Pie Bar Cookies

Amaretto Cherry Bar Cookies

Crumbly cookie base topped with amaretto soaked cherries then topped with more cookie dough and drizzled with a sweet glaze. I’m trying to find a way to make these Amaretto Cherry Bar Cookies acceptable for breakfast!

Cherry Pie Bars
A cookie base with amaretto cherries and cookie and almond topping.

I mean, there’s fruit in there. That makes this recipe healthy, right??

Okay, maybe not but I had to try. The fruit filling in these bar cookies is just perfect with the shortbread-like crust.

Makes enough to share

These would be a great addition for a potluck, or for brunch or an after school snack. (Or like I said earlier, for breakfast – if you can get away with it!). This recipe makes a 9×13 pan so you’ll have enough for yourself and some to share!

I decided to come up with a recipe using my favorite Amaretto Cherry Compote. While working on one recipe, I decided to make a double batch of the cherries just in case I needed to make the dessert twice. I knew the compote recipe would stay the same no matter what I had to modify in that recipe. This compote is amazing no matter how you use it. If you make it and have leftovers, try it on ice cream or on top of some puff pastry and then baked. You can’t go wrong, I promise!

Well, I only needed about half of the cherries and had a ton leftover! Since I haven’t made any bar cookies in a while, I decided that I would use the leftovers in some type of bar cookie. That way I wouldn’t eat it all straight from the bowl!

Always mise en place!

I will tell you, though, that I made a mistake when I was making these. I did my mise en place, as always.

If you aren’t familiar with the term mise en place, it is french for ‘putting in place’ or ‘everything in its place’. I would love to tell you that I do this because I am super disciplined in the kitchen or because that’s what the pro’s do. But that is not exactly true.

The main reason that I practice mise en place is that there have been soooo many times that I have gotten halfway through a recipe and then realized that I don’t have one of the ingredients. And usually, it’s one of the most important ingredients.

There have also been times that I have just plain forgotten to add something when mixing. Ever had a cake without the sugar?? Yeah, it won’t bake right – I’m here to tell you!

So I start every recipe with mise en place. I don’t just take out the ingredients and put them on the counter. I actually measure out every item and try to organize them in the order that I will use them.

Today, however, I had a few things on my counter and one of my ingredients got pushed out of the way. I didn’t even see the bowl of sliced almonds that I was going to add to the topping until I was cleaning up!

Sliced Almonds
I completely forgot to add these to the topping!

Not only did I forget to put the almonds into the topping, but I also forgot to toast them as well!

Luckily these Amaretto Cherry Bar Cookies are amazing even without the almonds! So if you forget them as I did, people will still devour them!

Cherry Pie Bar Cookies
A cookie base with amaretto cherries and cookie and almond topping.
Cherry Pie Bars
A cookie base with amaretto cherries and cookie and almond topping.

To make these Cherry Bar Cookies even easier, use canned pie filling!

To make these bars even quicker to put together, you can use canned pie filling instead of making the compote from scratch. You could also change up the flavors and use your favorite fruit if you don’t have cherries or don’t like cherries.

My husband, though, will think that you are crazy if you don’t like cherries. I’m not a fan but he LOVES them. I will say that even though I don’t really like cherries, I REALLY like these Amaretto Cherry Bar Cookies!

Let me know what you think of these when you make them! Tag me on instagram with #globalbakes so I can see what you bake up!

***This post contains affiliate links where I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase. ***

Amaretto Cherry Bars

Recipe by Tanya Ott


Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the Cherry Compote
  • 18 ounces cherries, fresh or frozen, pitted

  • 1/2 cup Amaretto Liqueur

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 Tablespoon butter

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • For the Base and Topping
  • 280 grams (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

  • 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar

  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) light brown sugar

  • 2 eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

  • 460 grams (3 2/3 cups) all purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder

  • 2 Tablespoons milk, any kind

  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

  • For the Glaze
  • 125 grams (1 cup) powdered sugar, sifted

  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons milk


  • Make the compote: Put the pitted cherries in a saucepan. Add cornstarch to the water/amaretto mixture. Add to saucepan and stir. Add the remaining compote ingredients and cook over medium high heat until thickened, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. NOTE: You can use a can of cherry pie filling instead of the homemade compote. Stir 1 teaspoon almond extract into it before adding to the pan below.
  • Preheat oven to 375℉. Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Make the cookie base and topping: Cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until pale and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in between each addition. Add the vanilla. Mix until fully incorporated.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add half the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and mix until incorporated then add the milk. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together.
  • Scoop 2/3 of the dough into your prepared pan. Press into an even layer to cover the bottomw of the pan with your hands or the bottom of a measuring cup that is flat.
  • Pour the cooled amaretto cherry mixture and spread into an even layer.
  • Add the toasted slivered almonds to the remaining dough and mix in. Break off clumps of dough with your hands. Lay the clumps on top of the cherries. Continue until you have used all of the remaining batter.
  • Bake at 375 ℉ for 35 minutes or until browned on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Make the Glaze: Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl. Add the milk and stir until smooth. Pour or drizzle over the cooled cake. Cut into squares and serve!


  1. Can I make the cookie dough base/topping ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze until I’m ready to assemble and bake? (Bringing to room temp before assembling of course). Thanks!

  2. Yum! I love this combination. Did you use pie cherries? Or sweet?

    • Thank, Helen! I love it too. I used Montmorency (more tart than sweet) frozen cherries and I felt lucky to find them in October. I prefer to use fresh tart cherries but they can be tough to find in the fall and winter!

  3. Carlos Marquina

    These look great, with or without the toasted almonds. Cherry and amaretto sound like such a great flavor combo

  4. Tanya, these look great, with or without the toasted almonds!

    • Thanks, Carlos! Since they are almost gone only 12 hours after coming out of the oven, I don’t think anyone missed them!

  5. Oh, these look absolutely wonderful – now, I don’t eat breakfast but I can tell you I ‘would’ have those first thing in the morning, if at all possible. So, yes. Perfect breakfast item.

    and, so that you know, I am in love with your platter…. pure style!

    • Thank you, Sally! If there were any left, I would have them for breakfast tomorrow. Unfortunately, there won’t be any!

      Yes, I love that platter. It’s one of my favorites!

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