Sometimes a recipe needs to be quick and easy. 3 Ingredient Cherry Squares are just that, but they are also pretty to look at and delicious too! These freeze well and are a great Christmas confection.
A couple of years ago, I experimented with 3 Ingredient Cherry Squares until I got it just right. I learned a few things through trial and error, but the most important thing I learned was to keep it simple. When a recipes says 3 ingredients, keep it that way!
I’m referring to my 3 Ingredient Raisin Squares which were posted in October 2018. I tried a few add ins, but the only things that worked seemed to be dried fruits and nuts. Keep away from anything with a risk of melting, like chocolate candies or chocolate chips.
Let me tell you, I basically wasted a whole bunch of Reese’s Pieces. I think when the heat hit them and the candy coating cracked, there was too much moisture/steam released and the whole thing fell flat. So, don’t use chocolate candies!
WHAT YOU CAN USE
In this particular version, I added two whole cups of candied cherries. I love candied cherries and I love how the red and green colours just burst out of the squares. They’re perfect for Christmas!
When I’m looking to use candied cherries, Paradise Fruit Company is my go-to source. They have the brightest, most plump, most perfectly round red and green cherries. You can get all of their products online. Be sure to check out the website!
If you’re not a cherry fan, there are some other options. You can always revert back to raisins. But, dried currents, chopped dried dates, or dried apricots. My God, dried apricots are so good in this recipe!
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:
- Canned Condensed Milk – This recipe has not been tested with low fat condensed milk. Depending on where you live, the size of the can my differ. Be sure to have the full 14 ounces!
- Candied Cherries – These are very popular in Christmas baking, especially in fruitcakes. I buy the whole red and green candied cherries separately so that I can pick which colour I want to use. If you buy them whole, you can chop them if you prefer smaller bits of cherry.
- Self-raising Flour – This is basically just a regular all-purpose flour that has salt and baking powder already mixed into it. If you don’t have any on hand, you can make your own by mixing 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt into every cup of flour you need for your recipe.
- Confectioner’s Sugar – This superfine sugar is sometimes called powdered sugar. It’s uses in frostings quite often. When dusted lightly onto cakes and cookies, it adds just a touch of sweetness, but more importantly, it looks very visually appealing!
Don’t have any self-raising flour? Don’t you worry, Dear Reader, we can fix that! Self-raising flour is just a store-bought item that you can easily make at home. In a nutshell, self-raising flour is an all-purpose flour that has salt and baking powder mixed right in.
There is no need to run out and buy it if you don’t want to. You can make your own, but please be warned! I think the already mixed stuff that you buy at the store works just a bit better than a homemade version.
To make self-raising flour, you add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of very fine salt to 1 cup of flour. That’s the ratio you will need. Since you need 1 1/4 cups of self-raising flour for this recipe, 1 3/4 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt will work just fine. It doesn’t need to be exact!
MORE CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPES!
Did you know that I’ve been posting a 24 Cookies of Christmas series for a few years now? There are over 100 Christmas cookie recipes that you can find right here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen! To make it easier to find, I have created a page for each series. Just click on the image below and you’ll find the full series for that volume all one page!
When you’re all done baking and you take your squares out of the oven, it is imperative that you let the whole pan rest for at least 2-3 hours. The squares are very moist and they need time to cool down and settle together. You’ll be happy to waited to make that first cut!
Once you’ve cut the whole pan into squares, dust them with confectioner’s sugar and serve them at room temperature. I would not recommend freezing these, because when they are thawed, they are just too moist – almost wet. Serve them and eat them the day you make them.
3 Ingredient Cherry Squares
- 14 ounces canned condensed milk
- 2 cups candied cherries, (mixture of red and green or all one colour)
- 1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
- 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a square 9×9 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, use a sturdy spoon or spatula to stir together the condensed milk, cherries, and flour until combined.
- Transfer batter to lined cake pan. The batter is very sticky! Press the batter into the pan, being sure to get into the corners. Try to get the top as evenly flat as possible.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from pan. Cut into 24 squares and dust with confectioner’s sugar if you so desire. Enjoy!