CHEW THIS! Sew and Serve Cherry Pie Bars

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, May 16th 2020 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Sew and Serve the Community
Blaise Doubman

I want to start off my column by thanking all of the front-line workers who have been relentlessly working through all of these uncertain times so that they may somewhat bring comfort to those struggling. Thank you to the doctors, nurses, aides, technicians, assistants and volunteers who are tired, overworked and exhausted but keep it going for the health and wellness of us all. There are so many out there doing what they can and what they have to do to keep our communities safe. The firefighters, the police officers, the heath care workers at assisted living facilities, the grocery store clerks and stockers. It brings tears to my eyes to think of how during times of hardship and crisis, like we are living in now, a majority of the population rises up and helps one another. No matter your political party I think I speak for everyone when I say thank you to the front-line workers who are risking their lives everyday to not only save lives but to make their communities stronger and more resilient. Thank you.

Two women, who I would like to spotlight, are not only working together with other volunteers to make their community safer but they are providing a much sought-after item: facemasks. Jill Bridges and Christy Tower are working with “Sew and Serve”, an online assistance program supporting local healthcare workers. Jill and Christy are working hard alongside other volunteers who are cutting, supplying fabrics and driving for deliveries to supply masks for anyone and everyone wanting them. It has been recommended by the CDC and countless other outlets, that wearing a mask helps slow the spread of the virus and helps protect not only yourself but help protect others. Jill and Christy have a personal goal of making 2,000 masks, which at the time of this printing I am sure they have already passed. They supplied the masks for myself and my family and I could not be more thankful. They are both volunteering their time and money to a cause that is saving the community. Would our positive cases in the county be higher if it were not for volunteers like this? Gives you something to think about. The thousands of masks they have made and are making, are going to the local community to help protect those they love. How awesome is that? Thank you, Jill, and thank you, Christy. Thank you to all of the amazing volunteers out there who are working towards helping this community. To order your mask please visit http://sewandserve.com

Sew and Serve Cherry Pie Bars

These are perfect for sharing! Cut as big as you wish and pass out to family and friends. These can be made ahead and kept covered and chilled in the refrigerator. Use your favorite pie filling in place of the cherry if desired.

2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
2 cups white granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
21 oz canned cherry pie filling

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl beat together the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture.

Beat in the large eggs, beating well after each addition.

Beat in the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt all in one addition and beat just until the white flour streaks have dissolved into the dough.

Place a little over half of this dough into the prepared baking pan. Spread and smooth evenly.

Top with the cherry pie filling and spread evenly.

Pour the rest of the batter over the top of the pie filling, spreading carefully and evenly. This does not have to be perfect by any means!

Bake in preheated oven for 37 minutes. The top should be golden brown. Do not overbake.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting and serving. If desired, when cooled, you can drizzle these with a little white icing by combining 1 cup powdered sugar with just a couple of tablespoons of milk or water. Drizzle evenly over the cut bars before serving.

Ask and Answer: I have been hearing from a lot of you with substitution questions so I thought I would address a few here for everyone. If you do not have unsalted butter, simply use salted butter but be sure to decrease the salt in your overall recipe. If you do not have sour cream for a baking recipe you can use plain yogurt or Greek yogurt. If you do not have maple syrup, make your own by combining 1 cup water with 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup brown sugar in a pot over medium high heat. Once at a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 4 more minutes. Add maple extract or vanilla extract if desired. If you are out of mayonnaise for a recipe try using olive oil, Greek yogurt, mashed avocado or even pesto. Experiment and taste.

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