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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Salted Almond Butter Bars

Recently, I've been in the mood for something sweet and salty. Something a little nutty. While reaching for the peanut butter, I remembered that I had bought some maple almond butter and forgotten all about it.

Now peanut butter is good, but almond butter is well, 

In other words, you can't go wrong here. 
A creamy base topped with melted white chocolate and lots of salty chopped almonds.

Salted Almond Butter Bars
For the Base:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup almond butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
1/2 tbsp almond extract (or vanilla extract)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
For the topping:
3/4 cup white chocolate chips, or broken up white chocolate
2 tbsp heavy cream (adding a little more if necessary)
3/4 cup salted almonds, chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 Celcius).
Grease and flour a square baking pan or a jelly roll pan.
In a large bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese, and the peanut butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and beat until very smooth. Add the egg and almond extract and mix well. Add flour and mix just until incorporated. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached.  Be sure not to overbake. Let the bars cool to room temperature.
For the topping, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt the white chocolate chips with the cream, stirring constantly until smooth.  Drizzle the white chocolate mixture over the cooled blondies, then sprinkle the chopped almonds on top.
Cool to room temperature before cutting and serving.
That is, if you can wait that long.

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