Merry Cherry Bars

Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Christmas, Desserts, Holidays, Recipes | 31 comments

If you want a quick, easy, colorful and delicious cookie bar, this is for you! The Merry Cherry Bars are an old recipe of my mom’s that I changed a bit. They look so colorful on a Christmas cookie plate! No need to drop or roll cookies, but simply bake them in a pan, ice, and cut!

Merry Cherry Bars


These bars are crisp like a cookie, but you bake them like a bar.They are so simple!


1 cup sugar

1 cup margarine

1 tsp almond extract

1 egg

2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

Generous 1/2  cup chopped red candied cherries  (you buy these in the baking aisle) You can also use maraschino cherries. Be sure to pat completely dry with a paper towel before adding to your dough…

Generous 2/3 cup chopped red and green M&M’s


Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. almond extract, and 5-6 tsp. warm water



Mix sugar, margarine, almond extract, and egg.

Stir in flour and salt

Add chopped Candied Cherries to the batter

Press into an ungreased jelly pan. (a bit of flour on your hands keeps the dough from sticking to you)


Merry Cherry Bars

Press dough into ungreased pan.


Chop M&M’s and sprinkle over the top and press into dough.

Merry Cherry Bars

Press chopped M&M’s into the dough.


Bake at 300 degrees for 27-30 minutes.

Cool slightly. While warm, cut the bars, but do not remove. Cool completely in the pan.

When completely cooled, drizzle with glaze consisting of 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. almond extract and 5-6 tsp. of warm water. Glaze should be runny enough to drizzle over the bars.

When frosting is set, remove bars.

Using a spatula, lift bars from pan.

I cut the bars on a diagonal. This looks pretty, but you do lose some small triangles along the edges. My family, however, gobbles those up and I serve the pretty diamond shapes to guests!

Merry Cherry Bars

Now, I need to share a story about my baking Christmas cookies when my kids were in Jr. High and High school. I would always bake cookies early and freeze them for Christmas time. My kids would find them in the freezer (whenever I left the house) and soon they were gone! One year, they couldn’t find them. At Christmas, I brought out the full containers of cookies and they asked, “where were the cookies? We couldn’t find them!”

My secret was to place the containers in the trunk of my car. When I left home, I smiled to myself as the cookies were safely with me. I could just imagine my kids hunting all over. We live in a northern climate so they stayed frozen the entire time. We had a good laugh at Christmas when I brought them out! I was able to outsmart my teenage kids!


Merry Cherry Bars


These Merry Cherry Bars freeze well, too! (you might want to place them in the trunk of your car – HA!)




This post is linked to many of the following parties……

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  1. These look so fun to try! Thanks for sharing at #2usestuesday
    Merry Christmas

    • Easy and delicious!

  2. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. A very Merry Christmas to you and enjoy your new Red Plate!
    Miz Helen

    • Thank you for the feature!

  3. Cherries and chocolate in a shortbread cookie? oh yes please. Thanks for sharing on the Creative K Kids Tasty Tuesdays. I hope you will join us again next week.

    • Thanks! I’ll be there on Tuesday!

  4. Those look so yummy! Thanks for sharing with us at our annual holiday cookie swap!

  5. These are so yummy! We featured them at The Project Stash! Stop by and get your featured button! We can’t wait to see what you link up this week! 🙂

    • Thank you for the feature! I’ll be over for a visit and another link up!

  6. I have them in the oven right now – great recipe and the kids are excited for them!

    • Wonderful! Can I come over?

  7. These look so yummy 🙂

    • They certainly are yummy!

  8. These look really good. I am bookmarking them for I may make them this Christmas season.

  9. Oh, how yummy. They look amazing. I can’t wait to start baking Christmas treats. Thank you for sharing and linking up to Scraptastic Saturdays. This post has been shared via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Have a wonderful week.

    • They are easy and delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Looks delicious! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

  11. Thank you for sharing this yumminess at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. I pinned to my Christmas treats board and please watch for your feature on Monday xo

    • Thank you for the nice feature! I hopped over to see it!

  12. These not only sound Christmassy, they look it too! Fab! I think I may have to give them a try. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo 🙂 x

  13. I like the sound of these and so simple to make (always a plus)….Does that mean I have to eat the rest of the M&M’s?

    Pinning and sharing. #PoCoLo.

    • Just make a double batch!

  14. These look great, so festive too!!

  15. I always love a bar cookie! It makes the baking go so much faster! I am heading to Germany for Thanksgiving and I think I will bake this for my daughter and her family over there!

    • Oh! I found you at A Creative Princess’s It’s A Party!

    • Wonderful! Have a great trip!

  16. Stopping by from Thur Fav Things party and this looks amazing! Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

  17. These look fun to try! Glad I found them at the Wonderful Wednesday Blog hop. Pinned.

    • They’re quick and easy!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  18. Thank so much for linking up to Wonderful Wed. Blog Hop. I love these Christmas Cherry bars. They are perfect for Christmas. I pinned them.
    Diane Roark

    • Thanks for pinning! I appreciate it!

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