Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan on bottom and 2 long sides with a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, making sure that foil is smooth and overhangs top of pan by at least 4 inches on both sides. Mist foil with cooking spray.
Place almonds and sugar in a food processor and process until nuts are finely ground, about 20 seconds. Add flour, butter and almond extract and process until mixture is crumbly and begins to form small clumps, 15 to 20 seconds longer.
Transfer 3 1/2 cups of almond mixture to baking pan and press into a compact, even layer. Spread jam lightly but evenly on top, taking care not to disturb almond layer. Press remaining almond mixture into loose, large crumbs and scatter evenly over jam. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Bake until jam is bubbling and topping is golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Grasping overhanging foil on either side of pan, lift pastry out of pan and place on a cutting board. Cut into 36 squares. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving, if desired.
Hi I would like to make them before Christmas to give out to family and friends as gifts. How far in advance can I make them? And how should I store them? If I can't , which cookies do you recommend I can make a head of time?
These are beautiful and delicious! I had a bit of trouble with the foil sticking on the sides where the jam had gone up higher than the base layer and may try parchment paper next time. The jam was easy to spread when stirred first. I will definitely make these again.
These bars are very impressive. It is difficult to get the jam on the crust though. I ended up using a whole small jar of raspberry jam. You have to put it all in a bowl, then stir it up to make it spreadable. In addition, I used a knife dipped in water each time I wanted to spread the jam. Otherwise it ruins the crust and puts holes in it. Don't forget to do the alum foil lining, as it makes them easy to get out of the pan. Then I cut them with my pizza cutter. They are delicious!
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