These are wonderful! To me, this dessert is more of a fruit pastry than a bar. I had them years ago but was never able to get the recipe. I recently came across a cherry bar recipe in a community cookbook and because of how the procedure was described, I knew it was the very recipe I had tasted so many years before... a long-lost recipe memory recovered!! May I suggest, drizzling a powdered sugar icing over the pastry. This was how the dessert was served to me and it was really enjoyable that way. One added note, the recipe I recently came across, called for 1-3/4 cups sugar, 1 tsp. salt, and 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder. The salt and baking powder were thorougly mixed in with the flour. The recipe went on from there pretty much as it was described in your recipe... 1 cup of dough was to be reserved. Then, the remaining dough was to be spread in a greased 11-inch by 17-inch pan. The pie filling was spread on top of the dough, and small spoonfuls of the remaining dough were dropped over the cherries and spread slightly. A powdered sugar icing was drizzled over the top of the dessert.
A friend of mine just gave me this recipe. It is exactly the same except that it also adds 1 teaspoon of almond extract along with the vanilla. This is to die for!!! It almost tastes like a really delicious, moist pound cake with cherries. He called it Pie Bars (though I've no idea why... it's nothing like pie!). My friend said that there is no levening agent which is what makes it so nice and dense. He also has made the same recipe with blueberry and apple pie fillings. I am making it myself on Christmas morning for breakfast! Can't wait!