As the Christmas holiday approaches, it's time I started making all the Christmas goodies. My mom has always made a variety of candy and treats to give as gifts to teachers, bus drivers, neighbors, and she always took a box to family get-togethers. I have continued the tradition as best I can, at least as much as my crazy schedule allows, using many of her recipes and adding a few new ones of my own. This year, since we are spending our first Christmas in our new home, I am excited that we can host a holiday party for friends and family. I've gotten quite a few raised eyebrows and "How do you have time for this?" comments from my husband and others. But I've always wanted to host a holiday party, and despite the hectic chaos of preparation, I'm really looking forward to it.

As I'm finalizing the menu and beginning to prep for the party, I thought of this recipe for Cherry Bars. It's one of my favorites, and is always a hit. Plus, it's pretty simple to make, so it's an easy addition to the holiday line-up. Try it out for yourself and let me know how it goes. If you have a favorite recipe to share, I'd love to hear from you!

Cherries Galore Bars

1 cup butter
1-3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350o. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Reserve 1-1/2 cups of the dough and spread the rest into the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover even with Cherries Galore. Drop the reserved dough by spoonfuls on top of the cherry layer and spread to cover.

Bake for 35-40 minutes in a preheated oven, until top is golden.

Let cool completely before cutting into bars.

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