Sunday, April 27, 2008

Almond Citrus Bars

I made these bars a few weeks ago for the lunches that I made for some of the teachers at school. I adapted a recipe I found in a Better Homes and Gardens Cookies magazine several years ago. (The original recipe used hazelnuts.) After I made it, I thought it needed a stronger citrus taste, so I've increased the amount of lemon peel in this recipe - however I haven't tested it again. I thought the buttery crust, the citrus flavor, and the almonds were a great combination.

Almond Citrus Bars

1/3 cup softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/3 cup almond meal (available at Trader Joe's) or almonds that are finely ground in a food processor
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon finely shredded orange peel
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 Tablespoon finely shredded lemon peel
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup slivered almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl beat the softened butter at a medium speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until combined. Then beat in 1 cup flour and 1/3 cup almond meal until crumbly.
3. Press the mixture into a 8 x 8 inch ungreased pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
4. In another bowl beat the 2 eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, baking powder, and the orange and lemon peel, and the orange and lemon juice. Bear on medium speed for 2 minutes or until blended. Pour the mixture over the crust and sprinkle with the slivered almonds.
5. Bake about 20 minutes until the edges are lightly brown and the center is set. Let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator. Makes about 20 bars.

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