My almond bars are an easy shortbread dessert packed with almond flavor and topped with a to-die-for sweet almond glaze that gets poured right over the hot pan…are you drooling yet?
My love for almond desserts is only equaled by my love for lemon deserts. Chocolate, coffee, pumpkin, and rhubarb are in the running too, but almond is sort of in a category of its own. The way it lingers on the palate is so lovely and these almond bars don’t disappoint.
I’ve layered that lingering almond flavor into these almond-y shortbread bars in a few ways ~ I made a homemade almond paste, used almond extract, and topped it with a sweet almond glaze. When it comes to almond I don’t skimp!
These almond bars have a lovely buttery melt in your mouth texture, and the sweet glaze gives them a real pop. I guarantee they’ll be a hit with whomever you deign to share them with. (The 9×13 pan makes enough for you to bring and save a little bit back for yourself.)
Make almond bars ahead ~ the only get better
I think these bars actually tasted even better the next day, so don’t hesitate to make them ahead of time.
After cooling completely, keep them in the pan on the counter and cover loosely with foil. When I know I’m going to make a dessert like this ahead I don’t cut it up, that way it doesn’t have a chance to dry out.
Of course the chef has permission to do a taste test, as always 🙂
There’s something about pouring a hot glaze or frosting over a hot pan, I just love it, have you tried my Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake, or my Brown Sugar Peach Cake? They’re made with hot poured frostings too and it’s a pretty wonderful technique. In this case a simple glaze of butter, cream, sugar, almond extract and almonds is poured straight over the shortbread, warm from the oven.
Note: I don’t recommend skipping the glaze for this recipe, I think the shortbread needs the added touch of sweetness and moisture that the glaze provides.
I don’t want to give all the glory to the glaze, after all, I made a homemade almond paste (so easy!) to go in this shortbread and it was pretty amazing too. We almond fanatics need to know all the tricks to infuse layer upon layer of almond flavor.
See the full instructions for how to make homemade almond paste here.
So there you have it, I know what I’ll be bringing next time I’m asked to provide ‘something sweet’.
tvfgi recommends: non-stick 9×13 Pan
USA Pan Bakeware Rectangular Cake Pan, 9 x 13 inch, Nonstick & Quick Release Coating, Made in the USA from Aluminized Steel
USA makes a whole line of bakeware and I’m slowly replacing all my pans. This pan bakes and cleans up like a dream.
More almond dessert recipes
- Toasted Almond Russian Tea Cakes
- Cherry Almond Crisp Dump Cake
- Paste di Mandorla ~ Sicilian Almond Paste Cookies
- Sour Cherry Almond Bars
- Outrageous Almond Butter Skillet Blondies
- Toasted Almond Milkshake
“This was a hit at my house and at work! I made the almond paste per your recipe then these almond shortbread bars. Took the remainder to work and when I came home, my husband asked me what I did with the cake! We can’t possibly have the whole thing, but I promised I would make it again.”Debbie
Almond Shortbread Bars
- 9×13 baking pan
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup almond paste at room temperature
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350F Lightly butter and flour a 9×13 baking pan.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add the egg, almond paste, and extract, and beat until well combined. Make sure to smooth out any lumps of almond paste.
- Add the flour and gently mix until just blended and no dry flour remains. Don’t over mix.
- Spread the dough out evenly in the baking pan with an offset spatula. It will take a minute or two to get it spread and level. I like to drop chunks of the batter all over the bottom of the pan before I start to try to spread it out.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, just until set and starting to turn golden along the edges of the pan. Don’t over bake, as you want your shortbread to be tender. Check the pan on the early side.
- Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before glazing.
- To make the glaze, heat the butter and cream in a medium saucepan until the butter melts. Stir in the sugar and extract, and whisk until the glaze is smooth. If it seems too thin, add a bit more sugar, and if it seems too thick, add a touch more cream. Stir in the sliced almonds and pour over the warm shortbread. Ease the glaze to all the edges with an offset spatula, working quickly.
- Let the pan cool before slicing.
- Make these bars gluten free using a good quality gluten free baking mix instead of all purpose flour
Questions and Reviews
Can I use just almond flour instead of almond paste? If yes, how much almond flour would I use instead of the paste and all purpose flour?
Love this recipe! Sounds great and can’t wait to try.
Almond flour alone doesn’t have much structure, so I’d advise combining it with a gluten free baking mix if you’re trying to make this gluten free. I do have a recipe for homemade almond paste if you simply can’t find it: https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/how-to-make-homemade-almond-paste-recipe/.
If you leave out the almond paste, then you’d need to do some experimenting with exact amounts, but you might start at 2 1/2 cups, with half almond flour half gf mix.
Hope this helps!
Half almond flour half coconut flour which is lighter like all purpose flour?
You’d have to experiment there, I know coconut flour is super absorbent, and can throw a recipe off.
I want to try these but I’m unsure how much flour to use. One cup of flour is 120-125 grams – depending on the brand – yet the recipe states 2 cups of flour is 295 grams. How much flour should I use?
Go ahead and use 250 grams of flour Kim. I’ve just gone in and added the metric measurements according to my online calculator instead of my own weights recorded as I baked.
Do you use unsalted or salted butter for the bar? I noticed there’s no other salt in the ingredients. Thank you!
I do use unsalted butter, but feel free to use salted, it will work too.