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These yummy bars are easily made with our sugar cookie mix, but feel free to substitute 3 3/4 cups of your own favorite sugar cookie dough, if desired.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) soft butter
3/4 cup almond paste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract or 2 drops bitter almond oil
1 bag King Arthur Vanilla Sugar Cookie Mix
1 large egg
1 8-ounce jar jam
1/2 cup sliced or chopped almonds (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons sparkling sugar (optional)
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.
Beat the butter and almond paste until blended. Add the extract and blend in the mix; the dough will be crumbly. Add the egg and mix until blended. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of dough, then use the remaining (about 2 1/4 cups) to line the bottom and 1/3 inch up the sides of the greased pan.
Warm the jam and spread it over the dough. Crumble the reserved dough over the jam. Sprinkle with sliced or chopped almonds and sparkling sugar. Press down lightly to level the crumbs and help them stick.
Bake the bars for 26 to 28 minutes, till they're golden brown and the jam is bubbly. Remove from the oven, cool for 30 minutes, then cut into squares while still warm. Cool completely before serving. Yield: 24 bars.