Almond Shortbread Bars

Buttery almond shortbread with a rich, creamy glaze? Yes, please!

I’ll admit, I’m more of a chocolate fan when it comes to desserts. Cream cheese chocolate cookies, chocolate hazelnut bread pudding, chocolate coconut cake, I love it all! That being said, I think I discovered a new go-to dessert bar recipe that doesn’t have any chocolate in it. Shocking, I know!

These almond shortbread bars are rich and buttery enough to satisfy my craving for the decadence of a chocolate dessert, while the creamy glaze adds the perfect amount of sweetness. And let’s not forget about the almond slivers on top! They make for the perfect amount of crunch when taking a bite. What’s not to love about all of that? If you’re a fan of shortbread cookies, then get ready to be blown away by this recipe!

These bars are incredibly easy to throw together. You’re basically making cookie dough, spreading it out in a dish, and baking it. Then, put together the glaze and pour it on top once the cookie crust has cooled down a bit. Easy peasy, right?

The base for these bars has everything you know and love about shortbread cookies. Namely, butter and sugar. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that as far as I’m concerned! There’s also almond paste and almond extract, so you’re getting the sweet, savory nutty flavor baked right in.

And the glaze. Oh boy. Get ready for more butter! You’ll start by melting butter in a saucepan, and then stirring in heavy cream. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in powdered sugar until smooth. Finally, fold in sliced almonds!

These are undeniably rich and sweet, which I for one, am all about. Plus, who doesn’t love an easy, unique dessert to bring to a picnic or potluck? Go ahead and check out the recipe below!

Almond Shortbread Bars

There's shortbread, and then there's almond shortbread bars.

Makes 20 bars; 15 minutes to prepare, 30 minutes cook time

For the shortbread:
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond paste, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups flour
For the glaze:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds for topping
For the shortbread:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 9x13 baking pan by lightly buttering and flouring it.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg, almond paste, and almond extract, and beat until well combined.
  4. Add egg, almond paste, and almond extract, and beat until well combined.
  5. Pour in flour and gently mix until just blended. Be careful not to overmix.
  6. Pour in flour and gently mix until just blended. Be careful not to overmix.
  7. Spread dough out evenly in the baking pan, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, just until set and starting to turn golden along the edges of the pan. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before glazing.
  8. Spread dough out evenly in the baking pan, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, just until set and starting to turn golden along the edges of the pan. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before glazing.
For the glaze:
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat butter and cream until the butter melts.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat butter and cream until the butter melts.
  3. Stir in sugar and almond extract, whisking until smooth. (If it seems too thin, add a bit more sugar, and if it seems too thick, add a touch more cream.)
  4. Stir in the sliced almonds and pour the icing over the warm shortbread.
  5. Stir in the sliced almonds and pour the icing over the warm shortbread.

Recipe adapted from The View From Great Island.