My almond shortbread is a favorite of my #1 taster (and me, too!). It’s smooth, buttery, easy to make and so very easy to snack on. Wouldn’t this be most excellent with a layer of tart cherry in between? Why, yes, it would!
One of my recent tasty finds comes from Smucker’s–Orchard’s Finest Michigan Red Tart Cherry Preserves. It’s straight-from-the-jar-by-the-spoonful good, but as almonds and cherries are such a winning combo, I couldn’t wait to see how they’d come together as bars. You’ll want to add this one to the top of your “to-bake” list–it’s a total keeper!
CHERRY ALMOND SHORTBREAD BARS
¼ cup almond flour (or ¼ cup almonds processed till finely ground in a food processor)
¼ cup sugar
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick butter (salted), softened
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup Smucker’s Orchard’s Finest Michigan Red Tart Cherry Preserves
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously butter an 8 x 8″ baking dish.
With your mixer, combine almond flour, sugar, flour and salt. Add softened butter and almond extract; mix till smooth.
Divide the dough into two equal parts–you may need a bit more than half to cover the bottom of the pan completely. Pat dough into the dish, smooth the top of the dough as best you can, then spread cherry preserves evenly over this layer.
To help make an even top layer, drop small pieces of the dough over the cherry layer–maybe four across and four down, then use a knife (or if you have an offset spatula, that would be best!) to smooth everything out. It’s not going to look perfect. In fact, it’s going to look a bit of a mess. The cherry layer will combine with the top layer of dough. While not very attractive, it bakes into pure deliciousness, so please not to worry. The best is yet to come!
Next sprinkle sliced almonds evenly over the top. This masks any of the lack of perfection in the layer below. Sprinkle just a half teaspoon of sugar over the almonds and now it’s time to bake–into the oven for 35 minutes. Makes 16 delicious bars.
Et voilà! Cherry almond shortbread bars emerge from the oven in a swan-like state.
Ready for a special delivery!
P.S. A small bit of trivia: if you’ve made it this far, you’ve just read my 100th post! Last week was an exciting one. The nice folks over on the Maker’s Mark Facebook page shared my rice whisky treats and–quite literally overnight and around the world–many more eyes were on Katty’s Kitchen. Wow! What a sweet, unexpected treat for me! It is really good to be a kat in the kitchen.
So, old friends and new, know that here you’ll find some sweetness, all things almond-y, plenty of chocolate, a taste of growing up Italian and a roll on the boozy side of the street with a little humor and music along the way! Let’s keep enjoying the ride together. ZOOMA-ZOOMA!