Toasted Almond Bars

In my house, we have a bit of a thing for almonds. I've been working on creating some healthy recipes incorporating one of my favorite ingredients. Warning: this recipe IS NOT one of them! These almond bars are unbelievably easy to throw together, and if you like almonds at all, you'll adore these. They're rich [so I won't be making these too often!] and have the velvety consistency of marzipan, but man are they addictive.

Toasted Almond Bars

  • 3/4 cup [12 tablespoons]  softened unsalted butter [I use Kerrygold Grass Fed Butter, and I definitely notice a difference with better quality butter like this]
  • 2/3 cup sugar [reserve a couple tablespoons for the final step]
  • 1 egg, separated and whites whisked
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4oz almond paste [that's about half a stick of almond paste which you can find at most groceries in the baking section]
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds [I used slivered because that's what I had on hand]

Preheat oven to 350F. While it's preheating, heat a pan on medium and add the almonds, shaking the pan periodically to toast the nuts. Set aside. Cream together butter, sugar and egg yolk [this is MUCH easier with a mixer, but I did this with a wooden spoon and it didn't take me all that long to do!]. Add in the almond paste and extracts until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour in a few batches until combined. Spread mixture into a greased 9x13 pan [for more of a crunchy cookie-like consistency, you can also spread this out in a thin jelly roll pan, but the cooking time will be a good 5-10 minutes less, depending on your oven. Brush the top with egg white and sprinkle with remaining sugar and almonds [press the almonds in so they stick!]. Bake for 30-35 minutes until edges are golden brown. Allow it to cool completely and cut in to small squares [I did little mini 1" squares, but you can make them as big as you'd like!]