Grumpy-Approved Pastry: Holiday Almond Bars

My mom made these a couple weekends ago, and I cannot stop thinking about them. These bars are the closest thing to the taste of banket, without the work of actually having to make banket. Don’t let the holiday name fool you; these are “Anyday” bars in my book. I highly recommend!

•1 cup butter, softened
•1 cup almond paste
•2-1/4 cups sugar, divided
•2 eggs
•1 teaspoon almond extract
•2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
•1/2 cup slivered almonds

•In a large bowl, cream the butter, almond paste, and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extract. Gradually add flour just until moistened.
•Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining sugar; top with almonds.
•Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator.

Nutritional Facts: 1 square equals an explosion of almond goodness in your mouth. I find that half a pan ends up being the typical serving size.

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