Thursday, April 14, 2011

Scandinavian Almond Bars

I make these delicate bar cookies for Christmas and other special occasions.  They take just a little extra work and a little more "fancy" than the normal brownies and drop cookies.

Scandinavian Almond Bars
(Taste of Home magazine -- I think.)

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1-3/4 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tb. milk
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1-2 Tb. milk

Cream sugar and butter.  Add the egg and extract, beating well.  Combine the dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.  Mix well.  Divide dough into fourths.  Form each into a 12"x3" rectangle. (See below for my method.)  Place 5" apart on greased baking sheets.  Brush with milk and then sprinkle with almonds.  Bake at 325° for 15-20 mins or until firm to the touch and edges are lightly browned.  Cool on pans for 5 mins.  Then cut diagonally into 1" slices.  Place on cooling racks and let cool completely.  Combine icing ingredients.  Drizzle icing over bars.  Makes about 40 bars.

And now for some photos:

1 quarter of the dough, on parchment paper, ready for shaping.  PLEASE... use the parchment.  You will thank me later.  

Finger pressed into a sort of rectangle shape. This is just the beginning.  Notice there is no extra flour, muddling up the process.  Love that parchment.

Turn it over.  No sticking!  We're ready to use the tools to flatten and shape now.

Again, no flour.  Because we use parchment paper and ....

THIS!  Lovely stuff, that has revolutionized my baking.  Just spritz a little on the roller. NOT on the dough!

See!  No sticking.  We're coming along nicely.  Almost the right length.

Done!  I did shape by hand into more of a rectangle shape.  

It was impossible to take photos of myself flipping the dough onto this parchment lined baking pan.  You can do it.  The dough just peels off the paper very easily.  You will need 2 lined baking pans.  2 strips of dough on each.

Brushing the dough with milk.

See how shiny they are!

Sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Ready for the oven.  Remember to rotate them half way through the baking time.

After cooling for 5 mins., slice them (notice the wonderful knife).

After slicing, place them, paper and all, on cooling racks.  When totally cool,  drizzle with the icing.  I know your drizzles will be much neater than mine.  

 Unfortunately I have no photos (yet) of the final product because I ran out of daylight and time.  I can attest that they are yummy.  :oD

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