The first time I was handed one of these bars, I had no idea what to expect. My aunt was the original baker and she is wonderfully talented in the kitchen. I imagined they would be good. However, I had no idea that anything could be THAT good. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. There is nothing else I bake that is as frequently requested as these Almond Bars.
I quadruple the recipe almost every time I make them, so that I have plenty of them to give away. I have since seen versions of this recipe in a couple of different cookbooks, but these remain simply Almond Bars for me. Gluten Free Almond Bars Recipe is posted HERE.
FREEZER TIP: Leave the bars on the wire rack until the icing is firm enough to handle. These bars store quite well in the freezer. I can usually fit 2 dozen in a gallon size Ziploc bag, with a sheet of wax paper separating the layers. When you are ready to eat them, just set them on the counter about half an hour before hand. I typically plate them while they are still frozen because they are easier to handle that way.
- Main ingredients:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter room temperature
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the egg and the almond extract and then mix until light and fluffy. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until combined.
- Press the dough into the bottom of a well-greased 9x13 pan. For this recipe, I actually grease with butter instead of Baker's Joy. Press with your fingers or a pastry roller to smooth the top of the dough. Using a pastry brush, brush a tiny bit of milk across the top of the dough. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and very lightly press them into the top of the dough.
- Bake for 18-20 min, or until just barely beginning to brown around the edges. Do not let them actually brown at all. If they brown, they will be much more crunchy than desired, once they cool. The goal is a very soft shortbread texture.
- Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then cut into bars. If they are too soft to cut, let them cool for a few more minutes. Remove them carefully (they will be quite soft) to a wire rack to cool completely before icing. Resist the urge to eat them now. They are even better when they are iced.
- Prepare the icing, adding just a tiny bit of milk at a time. If the consistency is too thick, it won't drizzle nicely over the bars. If it is too thin, the icing will just melt into the bars. If you are unsure, test a bit of it on the edge of one bar before drizzling the icing over the entire batch.