Today marks the finale of The Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies. And I couldn't think of a better send off than with these Cherry Cake Squares. A dense sweet cake filled with chopped maraschino cherries. The perfect Christmas treat.
I can't believe we've come to and end of the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies. It's been a fun ride and I hope you've all enjoyed it as much as I have. If I had more time, I would have shared even more recipes. But there's only so much time in a day and only so many treats we can eat! But I really have enjoyed this baking venture and sharing it with your all. I think come January, it will be all leafy greens...hahaha.
Who am I kidding, I'm sure there will still be treats in January.
Now that I've got the cookie sharing wrapped up, I think I'll be taking a break from the blog for a while. I'll probably have one more thing to share before Christmas but that's all there will be time for until next year. Yes, next year! How is that even possible.
I still can't believe we're sliding into 2020 in just a mere two weeks. It seems crazy because I'm sure many of remember all too well the panic of 2000. Waiting in fright of the world to shut down. The clock struck midnight and.......
Nothing, that's what. Just another year.
Maybe 2020 will be the big one.
Okay, let's get cracking on the last cookie recipe of the season!
Get all your ingredients out and ready. In this case we need flour, sugar, butter, baking powder, salt, eggs, vanilla, milk, powdered sugar and maraschino cherries. And don't forget all the equipment. I'll help you out a little. In this case, you'll need an 8 x 8 inch baking pan, parchment paper, cooling rack, mixer, two mixing bowls, a spatula, spoons and measuring cups or scales. Easy. So, let's get our baking on.
First thing you're going to do is combine all the dry ingredients. Do this is a large mixing bowl. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix really well until it's completely combined.
In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs and add the vanilla and milk. Whisk to combine well.
Add all the butter and half of the mixture to the dry ingredients. With your mixer on medium speed, mix until it starts to moisten. Add the remaining egg mixture.
Continue to mix on a medium speed until the batter becomes smooth and somewhat fluffy like you see here. This will take about 2 - 3 minutes.
Stir in the chopped cherries and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until when a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs. Important. Check the cake at around the 20 minute mark to see if it's browning too quickly. If so, have ready a sheet of aluminum foil to place over the top of the cake to finish the baking. Don't remove the cake from the oven. Just gently toss it over the top. It doesn't need to be secured, as long as it's covering the top is fine.
Remove the cake from the oven and place the baking tray on a cooling rack. Leave it there for about 10 minutes to cool. Then remove the cake from the cooling rack and peel off parchment paper. Place the cake on the wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cake has cooled, cut into squares. I cut the cake into 25 squares.
Now to make them look a little festive. Using a sieve, dust the tops with powdered sugar. Then place a cherry piece in the middle of each square. Done.
You could always frost these with buttercream frosting or cream cheese frosting if you want them a big extra. You can find a recipe for Buttercream in this recipe just ignore the cookie part. As well, you can find the recipe for Cream Cheese Frosting in this recipe. And again, just ignore the carrot cake part of the recipe.
Whatever topping you choose, these are a great holiday treat. Again, they are a great addition to a cookie platter. I find it's nice to have a mix of bar cookies, cake squares, drop cookies, no bake, etc when putting together a platter. That way, there is something to suit all taste buds.
If you're looking for more cake square ideas, I'll share a few links here of some other great ones that would make for great baking this season.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Squares, Pumpkin Spice Squares, Chocolate Chip Lemon Squares, Lamingtons, Raspberry Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies and Cream Cheese Brownies. All of these would also make a great addition to the cake square theme this holiday season.
Equally, check the Sweets section of the blog for lots more baking inspiration.
Well, that pretty much sums up the cookie baking and sharing for this season. Now it's time for me to focus on getting stuff done around here and making Christmas happen.
If you read my post at the weekend, we were off in search of a Christmas tree. Well, that was a fun adventure that went on a tad longer than I had anticipated. You see, normally I get the tree myself. Usually with help from the kids. My husband doesn't care too much for picking out trees, decorating trees, or anything Christmas for that matter. He turns up, that's his part.
But this year, I decided to invite him along. Why? Well, we did get a tree in the end after doing a mystery tour around garden centers in places that I didn't know existed. Could we find a tree in those far flung places? Nope. Did we end up getting a tree at the place I suggested in the first place? Why yes, yes we did. This isn't a matter of who was right or wrong. Just that I should have gone alone. Lesson learned.
However, we do have a pretty tree standing nice and bushy in the living room. Not decorated, I might add. Hopefully, tomorrow there will be time for that. Or there's always the naked tree look, right?
Well, my dear friends and readers, that will be all for the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies for this year. It's been fun but I'm ready to hang up the cookie apron in search of something on the savoury side of things. The thing about baking this many treats, is you just don't want to eat them! Okay, not completely accurate as I had my share this past month or so. But I just might be craving cheese and ham.
Okay, so today's song has to be Bing Crosby's Mele Kalikimaka because it's great. And from the best Christmas movie of all time. I'm not really into old classic Christmas movies. But give me National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and I'm happy. A family watching tradition every single year.
Have a wonderful baking season and I'll see you back on the blog before Christmas to sign off for 2019.
Cherry Cake Squares
Makes 25 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Bake time: 25 minutes
1 1/4 Cups/150 grams plain flour
1 Teaspoon baking powder
3/4 Cups/150 grams white sugar
3/4 Cups/170 grams butter, room temperature and cut into cubes
3 Large eggs
4 Tablespoons milk
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup/95 grams maraschino cherries, divided
Powdered sugar, for dusting the cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper.
Drain the maraschino cherries and blot them with paper towels to remove any excess liquid. Roughly chop half of the cherries. Cut the remaining cherries in half. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir well until combined, about a minute.
Add the chopped butter and about half of the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix on a medium speed until the dry mixture starts to moisten. Increase speed to high and continue to mix until it starts to become smooth, about 1 -2 minutes. Add remaining egg mixture and mix well for about a minute.
Stir in the chopped cherries.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Check at about 20 minutes to see if the top is browning too quickly. If so, loosely put foil over the top to finish the baking.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and peel off parchment paper. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
When cooled completely, dust with powdered sugar, top with extra cherry halves and cut into squares.
Will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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