Project Pastry Queen

PPQ: Cherry Pie Bars

by Shawnda on July 17, 2012

in Cherries,Cookies and Bars,Pies and Tarts,Project Pastry Queen

Cherry Pie Bars

I was super excited to see the recipe that Amanda selected for this week’s Project Pastry Queen challenge: Blackberry Pie Bars.

Redemption. Sweet, cherry-studded redemption.

Because the last time I made them, I totally bonked the recipe. Hard. There would be no bonking this time!

I made a few changes this go ’round:
– I actually read the recipe before getting started. Knowledge is power, people.
– I made half the recipe in an 8×8 pan with halved fresh cherries.
– I reduced the sugar by 1/3 and used fat-free Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream.
– I only reduced the almond extract by 25% from the full recipe. Because almond extract is magical, especially when paired with cherries.

The shortbread crust makes these bars a cookie-cobbler-pie hybrid. The almond extract and cherry-studded middle layer is a glass of milk away from heaven. The best part? No forks required. So grab a bag of cherries while you still can and give this one ago!



Prosciutto Tostadas with Shrimp and Parsley

For my week to host Project Pastry Queen, I picked the lightest recipe in the entire cookbook: Prosciutto Tostadas with Shrimp and Parsley.

A crisped flour tortilla is topped with prosciutto, mixed greens, roasted red bell pepper strips, and a garlicky and lemony shrimp mixture. It’s an easy recipe that comes together very quickly. And it’s one of those perfect light Sunday lunches to help you recover from an overindulgent Saturday dinner. You know the kind, where everything – including the plate – seemed to be battered and fried.

Check out how the other Project Pastry Queen members whipped up the tostadas and stay tuned for next week when Blackberry Pie Bars gets a cherry season makeover!

Prosciutto Tostadas with Shrimp

A quick and easy light lunch. Just add a glass of white wine!


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 jumbo shrimp, peeled and chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 8 slices prosciutto
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 roasted bell pepper, cut into strips


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan.
  3. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the pan.
  4. Add green onions and garlic, cooking 1-2 minutes, until the shrimp is opaque.
  5. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, vinegar, and parsley.
  6. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet very lightly sprayed/brushed with oil (just to prevent sticking).
  7. Cook 6-8 minutes, until toasted and crunchy.
  8. Assemble the tostadas: Place a tortilla on each of 4 plates, top with 2 slices of prosciutto, 1/2 cup salad greens, and a generous scoop of the shrimp mixture.
  9. Arrange bell pepper over top and serve immediately.


Yields: 4 servings

Slightly adapted from The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 20 minutes



Fresh Cherry Lemonade

We interrupt your regularly-scheduled Project Pastry Queen for a celebration! Emily of Ruf Love and her husband are expecting a sweet baby boy this summer and A Gilt Nutmeg (another Emily – we have 3!) is hosting a virtual shower filled with fabulous baby shower eats to celebrate.

I chose to make Cherry Lemonade. Because every pregnant woman deserves a refreshing beverage… even if, for a few more months, it can’t be as “frosty” as she’d like it to be :)

Beautiful, sweet red cherries have been plentiful – and super affordable – in our grocery store the last couple of weeks. And few things offer relief from the summer heat quite like a tall glass of lemonade.

We blended up a cherry-infused simple syrup and poured that into our favorite homemade lemonade. Not too sweet, not too tart, and wonderfully refreshing.

Congratulations to Emily! And thank you to A Gilt Nutmeg for coordinating and hosting this week!

Cherry Lemonade

Fresh cherries and lemons make the ultimate homemade pink lemonade.


  • For the cherry simple syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or the equivalent of your favorite sweetener)
  • 2 dozen cherries, pitted and stems removed
  • For the lemonade:
  • 1 recipe cherry simple syrup
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3-4 cups water


  1. Heat water and sugar in a small sauce pan, just until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture turns clear.
  2. Pour into a blender and add the cherries.
  3. Blend for 10-15 seconds and pour through a fine strainer set over a pitcher.
  4. Using a spoon, press the solids to get all of the liquid out and then discard the solids.
  5. Add lemon juice to the pitcher and then add water to taste (3-4 cups is ideal).
  6. Serve over ice.


Yields: ~5-6 cups

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes