Almond cranberry lemon bars

By Mary Berg
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YIELDS
16 SQUARES

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • Powdered sugar, for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and spray a 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and almond extract until light and fluffy. Mix in the flour, almond flour, and salt just until combined and press into the prepared baking pan. Dock the bottom of the crust my poking it with a fork about a dozen or so times. This allows any steam that might build up under the crust to escape. Set the crust in the fridge to firm up for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned then remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool slightly.
  4. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 325ºF and beat together the filling by whisking the eggs and sugar together. Add in the lemon zest and juice followed by the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Scatter the cranberries over the slightly cooled crust and top with the lemon mixture. Evenly sprinkle the sliced almonds over top then bake for 20 minutes or until the filling is set.
  6. Allow the lemon squares to cool to room temperature then refrigerate for 30 minutes before using the parchment to help lift the squares out of the pan. You can now cut the squares into 16, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and dig in right away or store in an airtight container to serve within a few days. If you’re looking for longer storage, feel free to wrap the whole pan of squares or as many as you’d like very well in plastic and place in the freezer for up to one month.
  7. Defrost either in the fridge overnight or on the counter before sprinkling with powdered sugar to serve. 

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