Viennese Almond Bars

With a cookie crust that doubles as a topping, these dessert bars boast a delightful filling of rich almond paste and light raspberry jam.

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Yields:
30 bars
Prep:
25 mins
Bake:
40 mins 350°F
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Viennese Almond Bars

Ingredients
1
17 1/2 ounce package sugar cookie mix
1/4
cup cold butter
4
ounces cold cream cheese (half of an 8-ounce package)
1/2
cup sliced almonds, toasted and finely chopped
2/3
cup seedless raspberry preserves
1
8 ounce can almond paste
1/4
cup sugar
1
egg
2
tablespoons milk
1/4
cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over the pan edges. Lightly grease foil. Set aside. In a large bowl, use a pastry blender to cut butter and cream cheese into cookie mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the finely chopped almonds; stir to combine. Reserve about 1 cup of crumb mixture for topping. Press the remaining mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven 15 minutes or until set.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir the preserves to loosen; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the almond paste, sugar, and egg. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Beat in milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture is spreadable. Spoon almond paste mixture in small mounds on crust, spreading evenly to within 1/4-inch of edge. Spread the raspberry preserves evenly over the top of the almond paste mixture. Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture, then top with the 1/4 cup sliced almonds.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the topping is light golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift the uncut bars out of the pan. Cut into diamond- or square-shaped bars. Makes 30 bars.

From the Test Kitchen

Place bars between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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