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Apricot Almond Bars

I often bring these treats to Christmas potlucks and parties. A tin of these yummy bars makes a great gift, too. —Lynne Danley, Gresham, Oregon
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min.
  • Makes
    5 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) apricot preserves, warmed
  • ALMOND LAYER:
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) almond paste, crumbled into small pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • FROSTING:
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter, brown sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in flour. Press onto bottom of a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Spread with preserves.
  • In another bowl, beat almond paste and sugar on low speed until blended. Beat in vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Pour over preserves.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in almond layer comes out clean. Cool slightly on a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, place chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil; pour over chocolate. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar, butter and vanilla; beat until smooth.
  • Spread over warm bars. Cool completely before cutting.
Nutrition Facts
1 bar: 170 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 24mg cholesterol, 60mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (18g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein.

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