Saturday, April 14, 2012

Almond Toffee Bars

Pesach is finally over! That means no more matzah and cream cheese (hello bread!), back to work, and hopefully, back to posting as well! This post and the next couple (when those will see the light of day, I don't know) are all cookies that I made before Pesach in an effort to get rid of as much chametz in my pantry as possible. I had some slivered almonds leftover and I thought to make these Almond Toffee Bars from my much loved and often used, King Arthur Flour Baking Companion. A tender, almond scented shortbread like crust is topped with a brown sugar topping and studded with almonds. These cookies are easy to make, feed a crowd and are incredibly addictive. I only made one change, and that was to use soy milk instead of regular milk, as that's what I had on hand. Also, the almond extract in the base is a bit overwhelming, giving the cookies a sort of coconut like flavor which was delicious, but I would reduce the amount next time.

Almond Toffee Bars
from the Baking Companion

1 cup butter or margarine
1/2- 1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup brown sugar, packed
5 1/3 tbsp butter or margarine
1/4 cup milk or soy milk
1 cup sliced unblanched almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
For the base: In the bowl of your mixer, cream the margarine, then add the extract and sugar. Sift the dry ingredients and then pour into the margarine mixture. Press the dough into an ungreased 10x15 inch pan. This will take a bit of patience, but there's enough to go around. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Set aside to cool.
For the topping, combine the sugar, margarine and milk in a saucepan, stirring over low just until the sugar is dissolved and the fat has melted. Pour this mixture over the base.
Sprinkle the almonds over the top. Put the pan under the broiler until the top bubbles, tops three minutes. As soon as the nuts are golden brown, remove from the oven. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Cut in to squares. 

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