Almond Spice Bars

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: about 24
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Ingredients

Cooking spray

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds

1/4 cup finely chopped candied orange peel, plus more for topping

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons orange liqueur

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

Directions

  1. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang; coat with cooking spray. Bring the honey and granulated sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg; let cool slightly, 10 minutes.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Quickly stir the beaten egg into the honey-sugar mixture with a rubber spatula, then add the almonds, orange peel, vanilla, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon liqueur. Stir in the flour mixture until combined (the dough will be stiff and dry). Scrape into the prepared pan. Lightly coat a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray and use to press the dough into an even layer. Set aside 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the bars until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few crumbs, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners' sugar, orange juice and remaining 1 tablespoon
  5. liqueur in a bowl until smooth. Brush the warm bars with some of the glaze; cover the remaining glaze and set aside. Let the bars cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a cutting board. Cut into 1-by-2 1/2-inch bars and let cool completely on a rack.
  6. Drizzle the bars with the remaining glaze; top with candied orange peel.
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