I also needed something to take to Hillcrest Thrift Shop as a surprise on Saturday. I wasn't working, but Volunteer Jerry (a different Jerry) often tells me at church that they really miss me on Saturdays. (What he is really saying is they miss the treat I brought when I was volunteering on Saturdays also for a while.)
I had pinned a recipe for some cherry pie bars that looked really good, but when I went to check out the recipe, Pinterest had deleted the pin for suspicion of spam. The one time I didn't copy the recipe down was all I could think. It took a while to finally find the recipe at another site, but I did. I also found a smaller version of it that I thought was actually better.
I thought I would make one using a cherry pie filling and one with an apple pie filling. Then I would cut them into bars and give half of each to Jerry and then take the other halves to Hillcrest. They both looked and smelled really good, but the problem was I couldn't get the cherry pie one to come out in bars. The apple one did better, but still not great.
I ended up taking the cherry pie bars to Jerry and Diane in the pan. I told him he could spoon it out like a crisp.
Since the apple pie ones came out better, I put most of them on a plate and took them to Hillcrest. The guys were so excited they decided to go to lunch 15 minutes early so they could eat some right away. I searched out Jerry and his wife Sharon and told them. Jerry was pleased but informed me they were giving up desserts for Lent. I showed them pictures of the bars on my phone.
I haven't shared the recipe with you earlier because I wanted to try them one more time to see if I could successfully make them as bars. The original recipe said to use half of the cookie mix for the crust and the other half for the topping. I decided that was the problem. There wasn't enough cookie for the crust so that it could come out as a bar.
Yesterday afternoon, I made them again and it worked out much better. My husband plans to take them to the tax office later today.
This recipe is so versatile. Feel free to use any cookie mix and any fruit pie filling. That's why I decided to just call them Fruit Pie Bars. I have made them with oatmeal cookie mix and pumpkin spice cookie mix. I think chocolate chip would be really good also. And don't forget sugar cookie mix. That is the mix the original recipe used. I almost forgot the peanut butter cookie mix too that you can buy.
FRUIT PIE BARS
1 pouch cookie mix (oatmeal, pumpkin spice, chocolate chip, sugar, or even peanut butter cookie mix)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 can fruit pie filling (apple, cherry, blueberry, strawberry...)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray an 8 x 8 - inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine the cookie mix, butter (I softened the stick of butter in the microwave on high for 20 seconds), extract, and egg
on low speed until dough forms.
Reserve 3/4 cup of the dough for the topping.
Press the rest of the dough in the bottom of the pan with your fingers.
Cover with the pie filling to the edges.
(I like to cut the apple slices in the apple pie filling into smaller pieces to get a better coverage.)
Break the reserved dough into pieces to cover the pie filling.
Bake in oven for 30 - 35 minutes or til golden brown. I did bake mine the full 35 minutes.
Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack.
Meanwhile mix up the cream cheese frosting.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
2 ounces cream cheese. softened (reduced fat or fat free will work)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk or enough to make it thin enough to drizzle on top
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir with a spoon. I added the milk a tablespoon at a time.
After bars have cooled for 10 minutes, drizzle the frosting over the top of the bars.
Wait until they have cooled completely to cut them into bars. I used a Pumpkin Spice Cookie Mix with Apple Pie Filling for this one.
Good news: If they don't want to come out as bars, just serve in a bowl with or without a little ice cream.
Here are pictures of the first ones I made.
This one was made with an oatmeal cookie mix and cherry pie filling. (Jerry said it was very good.)