Almond Shortbread Bars ~ an easy shortbread dessert recipe infused with a homemade almond paste, 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.
I’ve layered that lingering almond flavor into these 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 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 these almond shortbread bars ahead!
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. In this case a simple glaze of butter, cream, sugar, and almond extract and almonds is poured straight over the warm from the oven shortbread.
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.
So there you have it, I know what I’ll be bringing next time I’m asked to provide ‘something sweet’.
More almond dessert recipes from the archives ~
- Toasted Almond Russian Tea Cakes
- Sour Cherry Almond Bars
- Outrageous Almond Butter Skillet Blondies
- Toasted Almond Milkshake
Reader Rave ~
“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
- 9x13 baking pan
- 1 cup or 227 grams butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup or 166 grams granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup or 128 grams almond paste at room temperature
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 cups or 295 grams all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup or 114 grams unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup or 60 grams heavy cream
- 2 and 1/2 to 3 cups or 300 to 375 grams confectioner's sugar sifted
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup or 55 grams sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350F Lightly butter and flour a 9x13 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 almond shortbread bars your own ~
- Try a good quality gluten free baking mix instead of all purpose flour
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