Almond Bars

ALMOND BARS

Almond Bars


This three layer cake has a nice subtle almond flavor and packs a bite that is a delight for your tastebuds.  It is flavorful and rich enough that the smaller piece is satisfying and perfect for someone trying to lose weight.  The coloring added can be adjusted according to the holiday/celebration of your chose.

2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 can (7oz) almond paste
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
10 drops red food coloring
6 drops green food coloring
1/4 cup seedless red raspberry jelly (spreadable fruit)
1/4 cup low sugar apricot preserves
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 9.13 baking pans with non stick spray. Line the pans with wax paper; lightly spray the paper with non stick spray.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. With an electric mixer on high speed, beat the butter, sugar and almond paste in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well blended. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract. Decrease the speed to low. Add the flour mixture, mixing just until blended. 

3.Divide the dough into thirds (about 1 1/2 cup each; transfer each third into a medium bowl. Tint one batch of dough pink with the red food coloring and another batch green with the green food coloring. Leave the remaining dough untinted. Scrape each batch of dough into a baking pan, spreading the dough in each pan evenly. Bake for about 12 minutes until edges turn golden and cake is baked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

4. Invert the layers onto a work surface and remove the wax paper. Transfer the green layer to a cutting board and spread with the spreadable fruit. Top with the untinted layer and spread it with the apricot preserves. Top with the pink layer to form a stack. Cover the stack with plastic wrap and top with another cutting board or large heavy flat pan to weigh it down. Refrigerate overnight.

5. Remove the plastic wrap. Spread the melted chocolate over the top layer and let the stack stand until the chocolate sets. With a large sharp knife, cut lengthwise into 12 (3/4 inch) strips and then crosswise into 6 (2 inch) strips to make 72 bars in all. Pack the bars in a freezer container with a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap between each layer. COver and freezer up to 2 months. To serve, let stand in a single layer at room temperature until thawed, about 1 hour.

Per serving: 1 bar:
80 cal,
4 g fat,
2 g sat fat,
0 g sat fat, 19 mg chol
38 mg sodium
9 g carb
1 g fiber
1 g protein
8 mg calcium

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