Today’s recipe for deceptively decadent cookies, sure to aid you in luring others to the dark side are Scandinavian Almond Bars. I created the recipe by synthesizing many versions that I found online; so it’s hard to say what the original source is.
Now, you might be wondering why I called these “deceptively decadent.” It’s because they’re completely gluten free, but they don’t taste like it. Of course, you can always make these with regular all purpose flour (I do this quite often); the nice thing is there’s really not much difference in flavor or texture between the GF version and the one with regular flour.
A word about gluten free flours: you can buy GF flour blends at your local grocery store these days, but keep something in mind: generally speaking, to bake GF, you need something to replace the gluten. In most cases, that something is xanthan gum, which is a binder. Some GF flours have xanthan gum already added (they often have names like “Measure for Measure” or “Cup for Cup”); some don’t include it (they’re usually called “Gluten Free All Purpose Flour”). This recipe includes xanthan gum in case your flour mixture doesn’t contain it. If you’re using a GF flour that already has it, then omit the xanthan gum from the list of ingredients below. And, if you’re using wheat-based flours, leave it out, too.
Finally, almond flour is just very finely ground almonds, and can go bad quickly; I store mine in an air-tight container in the freezer. This keeps it fresh much longer.
Are you ready to bake? Let’s go!
Scandinavian Almond Bars, Gluten Free
1 1/3 cups almond flour
1 1/3 cup gluten free all purpose flour (you can use regular all purpose flour here, but your cookies won’t be gluten free)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (if your GF all purpose flour doesn’t contain it)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
2-3 tsp milk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Stir together the flours, xanthan gum, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and 1/2 tsp almond extract. Add in the flour mixture. Your dough should be sturdy but not too stiff. Divide the dough into fourths and roll into logs of about 12″ in length.
On an ungreased cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper, flatten out two logs about 3″ wide. Repeat for the other two logs on another cookie sheet. Brush each section with milk and drop about 2 Tbsp sliced almonds on each section.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until edges just start to turn golden.
As cookies are baking, mix up the drizzle, if using. Once cookies are out of oven, drizzle the icing on the cookies. Slice in diagonal sections of about 1″ in width. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
These cookies are perfect for gift-giving or sharing with Mom any time.