Cookie of the Month: Bringing best of everything to bars

A couple of years ago, or so it seems, I saw a video recipe for something that looked extra delicious. The recipe, from Bob’s Red Mill (, featured an almond-y cake type of crust (made with almond flour, lots of butter and lime zest). On top was a filling of a cream cheese batter turned lushly pinkish from succulent, sweet summer cherries.

As I usually do, I filed this one away under “must make,” I contemplated these Cherry Lime Butter Bars at various times, including February, when George Washington’s birthday brings up cherries and all sorts of recipe incarnations.

[B]ut finally, as we were heading into late summer, the stars — and cherries and limes — seemed to align. Like the cherry lime cheesecake I made last year in August, reminiscent of the cherry limeades at Sonic, it seemed this month would again be perfect to put the spotlight on a recipe made with cherries with just a hint of lime.

[T]he dark sweet cherries had been in seasonal  peak in all their dark ruby glory for a little while when I scored a bag of the beauties from the grocery store.

[I] pitted and chopped a little over a cup (eating a few along the way) for the recipe.

[T]o make the cake part of the bars, I used two gluten-free flours: one, a measure-for-measure all-purpose flour substitute, and the other, straight almond flour (full of flavor and texture). While I have no gluten issues, I always look forward to working with alternative flours, like those used in this recipe….sometimes, they are just better, in terms of taste and texture.

[T]he flours and baking powder, sugar and salt are mixed with a couple of eggs, vanilla, lime zest and a lot of melted butter. 

Extra almond flavor and texture is added to the batter with crunchy sliced almonds.

[T]he thick batter is spread in a 13- by 9-inch pan (I used glass), that was sprayed with cooking spray and lined with parchment paper. The buttery nature of the batter made it easy to spread it evenly in the pan.

[T]he filling begins with a combination of cream cheese, an egg, almond extract, lime zest and the chopped cherries.

[A]fter these ingredients are blended, powdered sugar is slowly added in to sweeten and complete the filling.

The creamy pink filling is doled out and spread evenly across the cake base and then baked.

[T]he finished cake bakes up in about 40 to 45 minutes. Both layers seemed to puff with the baking, the top resembling cheesecake (it’s supposed to still be a bit jiggly when finished).

[A]fter completely cooling, I cut the cake into bars. They were slightly crumbly and gooey upon slicing, so I periodically cleaned off the knife so I wouldn’t tear them up too badly.

[T]he bars were topped with a final sprinkle of powdered sugar. Delicious! The almond cake, rich and flavorful, nutty and buttery and not too sweet, pairs so well with its gooey, slightly delicate top layer, tangy from cream cheese and bursting with the dark cherries and just a whisper of lime throughout. Chilled, they were even better, bringing the best of cake, cheesecake and cookie bars into one ideal place.

For the recipe, go to

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