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Almond Bars

almond bars | hello, sweetie!

almond bars | hello, sweetie!

My coworker, Kathy, just passed her boards and I couldn't be more proud!  We have been studying for them (well, she's much more diligent than I) for at least the past three months.  Every night she studies while I pepper her with questions about recipes and photos.   Occasionally she will drop a comment of her willingness to be a taste-tester.  So, these bars are for her!  Since we work nights, there's not much time left during the day for baking.  This was just a quick (and edible) way of showing my appreciation for her support, but more importantly my acknowledgement of her great success! 

almond bars | hello, sweetie!

almond bars | hello, sweetie!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for the top
  • 1 Tablespoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, optional
almond bars | hello, sweetie!

almond bars | hello, sweetie!

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease an 8" square glass baking dish and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, extracts, salt and egg with an electric mixer.  Add the flour until just incorporated.   Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with 2-4 Tablespoons of granulated sugar and sliced almonds, if using.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown and the edges pull away slightly from the pan.  Cool at least 1 hour before cutting.  Makes approximately 15 bars. 

almond bars | hello, sweetie!

almond bars | hello, sweetie!

These bars are chewy, like a brownie would be, but even if you become distracted and let them overcook...you can convince yourself they're biscotti and eat them for breakfast with your coffee!  They can be made for a quick dessert, after school treat or double the recipe to bring as a dish to pass.  Most ingredients are on hand.  Variations are easy too...remove the almond extract, bump up the vanilla and add dried cranberries or chocolate chips.  Or add citrus zest with lemon or orange extract.  The original recipe was from our friend, Kim and they are requested every time we get together.  She uses the double recipe and bakes it in a 9x13" pan for approximately 35 minutes.

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