Happy Christmas Eve everyone! I enjoy making many types of cookies throughout December for the holiday season and freezing them for when family and friends are visiting. Each year, I like to try out new cookies and variations. I had never tried these orange almond bars before and I really enjoyed them. They aren’t complicated at all, just cut the cooked cookies into bars. The icing is also no fuss, no special decorating. Just drizzle it on the cooled cookies. They are crisp on the outside, with the crunch of the sliced almonds, and slightly chewy on the interior. I love the combination of orange and almond. The icing drizzled on top definitely kicks these orange almond bars up a notch.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Milk for brushing
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3-4 tablespoons orange juice
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare 2 large baking sheets by lining with parchment or leaving ungreased.
In a medium bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in half the flour, then the egg, orange zest, and almond extract. Mix in the remaining flour, baking powder, and salt.
On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each piece into an 8 inch rope. Place the ropes about 5 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Flatten the ropes until they are each about 2 inches wide. Brush with milk and sprinkle liberally with almonds.
Bake in preheated oven until the cookies spread and are lightly browned on the bottom, 20-22 minutes.
Cut the warm cookies into 1 inch bars width-wise. Cool the cut bars on wire racks.
In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and almond extract. Whisk in orange juice until smooth. Drizzle the icing on cooled cookie bars.