Almond Bars

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Buttery, crisp, tender almond shortbread bars are topped with sliced almonds and an almond glaze. No one can resist these Almond Bars!

These bars are the ultimate holiday treat for snacking, dessert tables, and for gifting! My friends and neighbors have been known to leave not-so-subtle hints on Instagram and Facebook when they see that I’m making these bars.

The first time I was handed a Scandinavian Almond Bar, I had no idea what to expect. My aunt Judy was the person who first introduced me to these heavenly bars and she is wonderfully talented in the kitchen.

Almond Bars {traditional and gluten free recipes} find the recipes at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Almond Bars

I imagined they would be good. However, I had no idea that anything could be THAT good.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Aunt Judy, 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 seen versions of this recipe in a couple of different cookbooks over the years, but these remain simply Almond Bars for me. And I’ve since shared a recipe for gluten free Almond Bars as well.

Almond Bars are the holiday dessert that everyone looks forward to the most!

Can You Freeze Almond Bars?

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 beforehand. I typically plate them while they are still frozen because they are easier to handle that way.

Almond Bars recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Over the years, Almond Bars have not only become one of the most requested recipes I make; they’re also one of the most popular recipes on this website throughout the holiday season.

I love seeing all of you make them and share my happiness over them.

Almond Bars are perfect on their own or with a cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa. All three of my boys cheer when they see me making them and this year, for the first time, my oldest son has made them entirely on his own.

If these Almond Bars are a hit in your house, odds are good that you’ll enjoy these Cinnamon Pecan Shortbread Bars too.

Almond Bars are everyone's favorite shortbread! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

How To Make Almond Bars

Kitchen Tip: I use this mixer (or this mixer), this pan, and this whisk to make this recipe.

For a quadrupled recipe: The batch will fit, just barely into the bowl of my Kitchenaid mixer. The bars will fill two half size baking sheets. (approximately 18″x13″) I cut them into 36 bars each, for a total of 6 dozen bars.

Also, when I’m quadrupling the bar recipe, I double (instead of quadrupling) the ingredients for the icing and I usually have icing remaining.

Almond Bars are everyone's favorite holiday treat!

Almond Bar Recipe

  1. 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.
  2. Press the dough into the bottom of a well-greased 9×13 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
The best Almond Bars you will ever taste! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Almond Bars are the holiday dessert that everyone looks forward to the most!

Almond Bars

4.34 from 6 votes
Recipe from and with thanks to my lovely Aunt Judy
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 18 bars

Ingredients 

Almond Bar 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

Icing Ingredients

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Instructions

  • 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 9×13 pan. 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 the bars brown at all. Let 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. Carefully transfer the bars to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
  • To make the icing: Add just a tiny bit of milk at a time to the powdered sugar. 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.

Notes

For a quadrupled recipe: The batch will fit, just barely into the bowl of my kitchenaid mixer. The bars will fill two half size baking sheets. (approximately 18″x13″) I cut them into 36 bars each, for a total of 6 dozen bars. Also, I double (instead of quadrupling) the ingredients for the icing and I usually have icing remaining.
  • Gluten Free recipe is posted HERE

Nutrition

Calories: 181kcal · Carbohydrates: 28g · Protein: 2g · Fat: 7g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Cholesterol: 23mg · Sodium: 82mg · Potassium: 82mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 18g · Vitamin A: 171IU · Calcium: 34mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

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{recipe originally posted 6-19-2011 – recipe notes and photos updated 11-1-2019}

Almond Bars recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Almond Bars are everyone's favorite holiday dessert!

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Mary Anne says

    I love almond flavor so am looking forward to making this recipe. Could you use parchment in the pan to make it easier to remove them before cutting?

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