Scandinavian Almond Bars
The View From the Great Island
Scandinavian Almond Bars are soft, chewy shortbread bars literally packed with almond flavor ~ they freeze beautifully, and make fabulous holiday gifts!
- ½ cup (1 stick, or 4 ounces) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg (at room temperature)
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1¼ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup almond meal or flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp milk or cream
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- ½ tsp almond extract
- milk or cream to thin
- Set oven to 325F Butter a 9x13 pan and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
- Beat in the egg and the extract.
- Whisk the flours, baking powder, and salt together and add slowly to the bowl. Mix until everything is well combined.
- Press the dough into the pan with your fingers. I find it it easiest if I scatter the dough in crumbles across the pan and then pat it down. If you don't have quite enough dough to fill your pan, you can stop it a little shy of one edge...the dough will stay put as it bakes. Take a little time with this step to ensure you've got an even layer of dough.
- Brush the top of the dough with the milk or cream, and then top it with the sliced almonds. Press them down gently with your hands.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, or just until the dough is drying out and just beginning to brown along the edges. The bars will appear under-cooked, but will firm up as they cool.
- Let the bars cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then slice them. If they seem too soft, let them cool a bit longer. Carefully remove the slices to a rack to cool completely before you ice them.
- To make the glaze, stir the sugar together with the extract, and enough milk or cream to thin to a glaze. Drizzle over the cooled bars.