last minute baking: holiday jewel bars

holiday jewel bars

I’ve never encountered a jewel bar until I spent my first Christmas with Cornelius’ parents. A jewel bar seems innocent enough: a shortbread bottom topped with chocolate chips, salted mixed nuts….until you get to those blasted glacé cherries. You see, I’ve always viewed those candied cherries as an abomination upon the world of desserts. They always seem to appear when you least expect them, hiding in a hot cross bun or ruining a perfectly lovely shortbread cookie. So when I was offered a plate of baked goods from the people that would one day be my in-laws, I didn’t want to be rude. I picked up the jewel bar and once I bit into it, I was sold. Hideous cherries, be damned! I became smitten with these jewel bars that probably started their life as a recipe found on a package of chocolate chips.

holiday jewel bars

These bars have that great sweet-salty thing going on because of the nuts and I think that’s why I love these so much! And now that I’m no longer giving glacé cherries the evil eye, I can appreciate how they certainly liven up the dish with their festive colour. Plus, they do add a flavour that really works here. Really! But the most perfect thing about these jewel bars is that they are one of the simplest desserts to make. They’re a cinch to whip up when company comes a-calling or for giving as a last-minute gift.

holiday jewel bars

Thanks for visiting here during these busy times and I want to extend a warm and happy Christmas filled with peace & joy! Happy happy holidays!

holiday jewel bars

27 comments to “last minute baking: holiday jewel bars”

  1. 1
    Sheena S.   December 23, 2011 at 10:19 am

    My grandma used to make these all the time. Love’em.

  2. 2
    Amy (Savory Moments)   December 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    These are lovely!

  3. 3
    knitgirl   December 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    thanks for the recipe Jeanette.
    I’ve done no baking, but these look manageable. thanks for continuing to inspire. see you in da hood. : )

  4. 4
    Jacqui   December 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I’m going to have to trust you on the cherries! I have a strong dislike of them too. But they sure are pretty! Love the little sledding girl ornament : )

  5. 5
    Joanne (Bijoux)   December 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    They sure do look pretty but like your former self, I too am not a fan of glacè fruit. There are Greek glacè sweets in the form of tomato peel, eggplant (yup!), lemon peel, cherry, you name it…my mom would make homemade glacè fruit/veggies and I despised them. Maybe, just maybe, when the chocolate, the salted nuts and the cherry glacè co-mingle and make friends, it will taste delicious to me too! Here’s hoping 🙂

    Merry Christmas to you too! Enjoy this holiday season with those that mean the most to you!

  6. 6
    Joanne   December 24, 2011 at 3:27 am

    Happy holidays, Jeanette! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us! I have similar hesitance about glaceed cherries and citron and similar candied dried fruit…but you make these sound so good, that I’m utterly convinced they’re worth eating!

  7. 7
    Jen   December 24, 2011 at 5:40 am

    These are a permanent part of my mum’s holiday baking routine — so cool to see them get some love here! Merry Christmas to you and yours, and a wonderful 2012 as well. 🙂

  8. 8
    Kasey   December 24, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I’ve never heard of jewel bars, but who doesn’t want to eat a Jewel Bar?? It sounds fabulous. Happy holidays, friend! Stay warm 🙂

  9. 9
    renee@sweetsugarbean   December 24, 2011 at 11:05 am

    These are so festive and pretty! Have a very Merry Christmas!

  10. 10
    Kate   December 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Ooh! I like how pretty these bars turned out. Since I love candied cherries (I keep a jar of maraschino cherries in my fridge at all times..just for snacking), these bars look even more alluring.

    Also, those vintage Christmas figurines are too cute! Where did you find them?

    Merry Christmas to you, Jeanette!


  11. 11
    christine [the sugar apothecary]   December 25, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Merry Christmas! I’d have to say I’m still on the “nay” side of candied cherries, but these do look rather festive 🙂 I’m all for sweet ‘n salty, I might have to try these out! Have a great holiday!

  12. 12
    Gretchen @   December 26, 2011 at 7:06 am

    These look really pretty and delicious! They remind me of this “fruitcake bread” that I had in Australia that I’ve been trying to figure out how to re-create at home.

  13. 13
    Rocky Mountain Woman   December 26, 2011 at 9:08 am

    These look amazing! Happy New Year…



  14. 14
    Kathryn | Dramatic Pancake   December 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Haha, I used to have the exact same feelings toward those candied cherries, but over time, I’ve come to appreciate them in certain things. Love the look of these, and LOVE the name! 🙂

  15. 15
    Megan Gordon   December 27, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Happy holidays to you, too, Jeannette! Gah, I wish I’d seen these right before Christmas…they look right up my alley. I guess there’s no hard and fast rule that they can’t be New Years Jewel Bars, right? Hope you’re enjoying a little down time and keeping warm.

  16. 16
    The Cozy Herbivore   December 29, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    What gorgeous pictures! These look very sweet, and perfect for the holidays… maybe they’ll even get ME over my fear of those awful cherries!

  17. 17
    Julie   December 30, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    What?? A reason for glace cherries’ existence?? I feel the same way you do – neon abominations that ruin perfectly good shortbread! I’ll have to take your word for it and give these a go – next year!
    Happy holidays!!

  18. 18
    Hannah   December 31, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    These look delicious and almost easy enough to be a New Years Day baking project! Thank you from a new reader!

  19. 19
    Lynn   January 1, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Beautiful! They look like a great Christmas tradition cookie.

    Happy New Year! May 2012 bring you love, joy, warmth, creativity, and surprise blessings.

  20. 20
    kickpleat   January 2, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Thanks everyone for your lovely comments! Happy new year to you all 🙂

  21. 21
    Ashley   January 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I am completely in love with the look of these!! Love the colours, they definitely look like their name. I love glace cherries in holiday baking. My mom always put half of a green or red one on her shortbread.

  22. 22
    Ashley   January 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    A belated happy holidays and happy new year!!

  23. 23
    kickpleat   January 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Thanks Ashley, happy new year to you too!

  24. 24
    Taina   December 7, 2012 at 1:57 am

    Hi Jeannette- a bit late to the party but I want to make these for my Christmas gift baskets- so do you have any idea how long these keep? (Obviously they all get eaten fast, but if I make them 4-5 days before Christmas, are they still good?)

  25. 25
    kickpleat   December 7, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Taina, yes, they should still be good. My MIL actually makes them early in December and freezes them, so you can make them well in advance and freeze them if you wish too!

  26. 26
    shakti   July 2, 2013 at 3:47 am

    Cannot approach – just really hate those cherries!

  27. 27
    Carolena   December 20, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    Just love these. I have misplaced my recipe so I am so happy to have found this one. Many thanks

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