Best Ever Cherry Bars


Whenever we have unexpected company, or just want a last-minute dessert for a meal, we pull out this never-fail recipe. I first found it in a Quick Cooking magazine when I was probably ten, and over time and much use I’ve adapted it by changing the fruit filling. Besides the classic cherry, we like peach and blueberry flavors best. Sometimes we use store-bought cherry pie filling, like the right side of the pan in the photo above, but what puts this recipe over the top is when we make the filling from scratch. We pulled the peach version from our favorite peach cobbler recipe, and the blueberry version is an adaption of a cherry pie filling that we sometimes make for it, too. Each of the filling recipes below will make enough filling for half of a 15″ x 10″ pan, so be sure to choose two fillings, or double one of them.

If that makes sense to you, please explain it to me. Thank you.

Cherry Bars

Cherry Filling:
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 cups fresh or frozen pitted dark sweet cherries, thawed, halved
1/8 tsp. almond extract

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, water, cornstarch, and lemon juice until smooth. Add cherries. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in extract. Set aside to cool.

Blueberry Filling:

Follow ingredients and directions for Cherry Filling, substituting blueberries for the cherries, and vanilla extract for the almond extract.

Peach Filling:
2 cans (15 oz. each) sliced peaches, with syrup
1/4 cup, plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. cornstarch

Combine peaches, sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch in saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; set aside to cool.

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 to 3 Tbsp. milk

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the extracts. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture just until combined. Spread 3 cups of batter into a greased or parchment-lined 15″ x 10″ baking pan. Spread with fillings of your choice, half on one side and half on the other. Drop the remaining batter by teasponfuls over the filling. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30-35 minutes, or until dough tests done with a toothpick. Cool on a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over bars. Yield: 5 dozen.


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Chocolate Cupcakes Topped with Red Chocolate Frosting


Ahhh, these cupcakes. I was looking forward all day to making them and I knew exactly how they should be–perfect. Well, it didn’t work that way 😉

It was suppose to be a simple, fun project but it turned out to be rather frustrating. First the batter was too thick (I added too much flour) and then I couldn’t get the right color of pink frosting (I wanted a light pink frosting, but I messed up on the dye. In the end, I mixed some cocoa powder in and got this reddish color.) If it wasn’t for the white pearls which help the cupcake’s appearance, and the fact that the cupcakes taste so delicious, I wouldn’t be writing about them!

I used this chocolate cake recipe. It is our favorite chocolate cake recipe–truly the BEST. It made about two dozen cupcakes; each pan took maybe twenty minutes to bake. I made the frosting from a cream cheese base…but lets not talk about the frosting because it isn’t the color I had in mind.

The cupcakes are quite rich, but it is hard to stop at one. I definitely want to try making them again, so I hope my family eats them up fast!


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Lime Pie with Graham Cracker Crust


After supper this evening, Gabrielle and I made a lime pie to use up some limes in the fridge. No, we don’t just keep limes on hand. We just haven’t gotten around to making something with them! But right after we had eaten supper, we decided it was time to make the kitchen even more messy than it was and make something with the limes 🙂

We had to resort to Pinterest for a no bake lime pie since we couldn’t find one in Mom’s recipe collection. Although we found some yummy lime fudge and lime cheesecake bar recipes, we finally found a good pie filling recipe and then we used our own graham cracker crust recipe


It is the best lime pie I have ever eaten…it was also the second lime pie that I have ever eaten. The first time I ate a lime pie I didn’t like it, but this one tastes so good!! Yummmy 🙂

We refrigerated the pie for only two hours, and it probably should have been overnight since it didn’t dish up so well, but we couldn’t wait that long!


Graham Cracker Crust 

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
Combine ingredients and press into a 9 inch pie plate. Then here is the recipe for the pie filling


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A New Color for the House






In the summer we got a nasty rain/hail storm, and it damaged the roof and siding pretty nicely. So, this fall, our house got re-roofed and re-sided! It was easy for Dad and Mom to pick new shingles out because they wanted the house roof to have the same shingles as the gazebo and dog house roofs. Deciding on the siding was harder though. Dad wanted beige again, but mom wanted a red. We got this rich red that coordinates with the rocks very nicely. At some point each of us wondered if it was a good idea to have gone with red, but any uncertainty quickly fled when we saw the siding finished. We really like the new look 🙂 and the recent snowfall we got looks really good against the red.


Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life and Happy New Year!




Thanksgiving Preparation




This morning we were busy in the kitchen beginning the Thanksgiving meal preparations. After Mom cooked the stuffing, we made two pies– sour cream and raisin, and pumpkin. The pie crust for the sour cream ‘n’ raisin pie turned out beautifully! Earlier this fall, Kerstin and I made apple pies and froze them; so we will also have an apple pie 🙂

The cranberry sauce was made too. While I was stirring the cranberries in, I realized that I didn’t double the recipe! 😐 But I think we will have enough for tomorrow…as long as it doesn’t get sampled too much