Christmas Cherry Cookie Bars

While I was growing up, my mother always made cherry almond cookies for Christmas. We would eat the cookie dough and cherries before they ever made the oven. She had to double the batch to make enough for the neighbors.

This cookie bar is still a tradition in our family.

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 jar Maraschino cherries, cut in half & stems removed

1 tablespoon milk

1 ½ teaspoons almond extract, divided

2 cups powdered sugar

Cream together the butter, sugar and eggs. Add 1 teaspoon of the almond extract.

Slowly beat in the flour and salt. Spread batter over a greased cookie sheet or smaller jelly roll pan. Sprinkle batter with cherries. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes until lightly golden, but soft.

Remove from the oven and cool.

Mix together milk, ½ teaspoon almond extract and powdered sugar. Whisk together until there are no more lumps, and drizzle over cooled cookie bars. Cut into 1 ½ inch squares and serve. This recipe freezes well without the glaze.

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