Scandinavian Almond Bars
Scandinavian almond bars are made with almond extract, sliced almonds and vanilla glaze. It’s easy to make in large batches for the holidays.
Every Christmas my Aunt Carol makes almond bars—a cookie textured bar with sliced almonds and icing. They have to be one of my favorite holiday treats… probably because I love love love almond extract in my baked goods. A few years back she shared the recipe with me and now I am going to share it with you as part of my 25 Days of Baking.
Why this recipe works
Scandinavian almond bars are also known as almond bark for their thin consistency. The dough is simple and easy to make. You can double or triple the recipe. The dough is similar to a sugar cookie dough that you roll out into a 12-inch by 3-inch log.
The almond extract and sliced almonds creates plenty of flavor while the icing adds a touch of sweetness. Make a few batches and share with friends. They will be asking for the recipe!
- Butter: Make sure it is room temperature for easy mixing and to make a consistent dough.
- Milk: A brush of milk on top of the dough helps the sliced almonds stick and give the bars a little shine.
- Almond extract: This adds all the flavor that makes these bars irresistible!
- Sliced almonds: Scatter these over the dough for a little crunch on the cookies.
How to make almond bars
- Make the dough: Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Beat together butter, sugar, egg and almond extract with an electric mixer. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Roll cookie dough: Divide dough into fourths. Roll into rectangles 12 inches by 3 inches wide. Place two pieces on cookie sheet at least 4 inches apart.
- Add milk and almonds: Use a pastry brush to spread milk on top of each piece of dough. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top.
- Bake dough: Bake the bars at 325 F for 12 minutes or until the edges are set. Let the bars cool for 10 minutes on the pan.
- Cut bars: Use a sharp knife to cut bars 1-inch wide
- Prepare icing: Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, almond extract and milk. Use a spoon to drizzle icing over bars.
Frequently Asked Questions
When the bars are still warm, use a sharp knife to cut the bars on a diagonal. It’s important to do this when the bars are warm so they don’t crumble when you are cutting them.
Place in an airtight container or holiday tin with parchment paper between layers. Store in a dry cool place for up to 1 week.
Place in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature and rolling the dough.
If you love almond flavored desserts as much as I do, then you will certainly love these recipes!
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Scandinavian Almond Bars
- 1 ¾ cup (218 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons whole milk, (low-fat works too)
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1-2 tablespoons whole milk for drizzle consistency, (low-fat works too)
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat together butter and sugar until fluffy, about 90 seconds. Add egg and almond extract, and mix until incorporated, scraping down sides when necessary. Gradually add in the flour mixture and beat well.
- Divide dough into quarters and form each into a 12-inch log. Place two logs 4-5 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Using a rolling pin, flatten log until 3 inches wide (making a 12-inch by 3-inch rectangle). It doesn't have to be perfect.
- Brush the two dough rectangles with milk. Sprinkle with almonds and bake 12-14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Repeat with remaining two logs.
- While the bars are baking, prepare the icing. Whisk together the powdered sugar, almond extract and 1 tablespoon of milk. Add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach a drizzle consistency. While the bars are still warm, cut diagonally into one inch strips and drizzle with icing.