Do you ever wake up with a crick in your neck?
I never used to. I honestly never felt much pain at all in my now squandered youth. But these days, this persistent and quite literal pain in my neck just pops up most mornings and reminds me of my mortality. If I try to stretch it out or massage it, people just look at me funny. And since my mornings start with tons of students, it’s better to leave well enough alone.
It’s much more fun to focus on how I’m getting better, not worse, with time. For instance, I’m stronger physically than I’ve ever been, thanks to punishing workouts. After seven years or so, I’m finally starting to figure out this whole motherhood thing, kind of. And the treats coming out of my kitchen are just going from happy to happier!
Take these Linzer cookie bars, for instance. For years, I’ve been a big fan of the traditional toffee bar, in which a buttery cookie crust gets covered in chocolate and nuts. This bar is a variation on that, and if I can say this without sounding immodest, a pretty dang amazing one.
Like the traditional Linzer, the crust here has a ground almond base. It’s buttery too, and flaky, and ever so perfect. I spread a thin layer of raspberry jam on the crust right out of the oven, and it melts in just a bit. Of course, then you add your chocolate layer and some roughly pulverized slivered almonds.
It’s cookie heaven. We have a big holiday party coming up, and I had to put most of these away immediately in the freezer. But I did keep two out for my afternoon tea, and now I’m holding back from ripping my freezer door open and obliterating a few more.
If you don’t know much about Linzer cookies, you need to start now. These bars have the same flavor, but without the stress of rolling out cookies and cutting them into cute shapes. We all change with time, and in some ways, that’s actually quite lovely, especially when the cookies coming out of the kitchen just get better and better!
1 cup almond meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1 and 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup silvered almonds, roughly crushed
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil, leaving enough to hang over the sides. Spray the pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine the almond meal and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Cream the butter, powdered sugar and egg yolk in the bowl of a stand mixer. Adding each gradually, alternate the flour and the almond mixture until both are fully incorporated.
- Press the dough into the prepared pan evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust begins to turn golden brown.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Spread the raspberry jam thinly on the crust, taking care to be gentle.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the jam. Return the pan to the oven for 2 minutes.
- Take the bars out and spread the chocolate evenly over the jam. Sprinkle the almonds on top.
- Note: I crushed the almonds by putting them in a Ziploc bag and running a rolling pin over the bag a few times.
- Put the pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to let the chocolate set. Allow the pan to come to room temperature and then lift the bars out with the foil. Using a sharp knife, cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.
This Post Has 22 Comments
Mir, please tell me your secrets with the motherhood thing because I still don’t have it figured out.. and with two girls, I know I’m in for a rough several years while they go through their adolescent years! 🙂 I also love that you are stronger physically than you have ever been. I feel the same way ironically .. even though I’m older. keeping yourself healthy, both with exercise and what you eat is so important and does wonders on your outlook and attitude I think .. anyway. . we got a sleep number bed a couple of years ago because both my husband and I weren’t sleeping well. it’s helped tremendously! love these Linzer cookie bars! this is the perfect treat!
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…Chocolate Merlot Cake
I honestly don’t have it figured out, Alice. I’m just not the heap on the floor I was a few years back. Sleep is huge. Exercise is huge! And having time to yourself to eat cookies is so essential. Other than that, just making it up as I go along, like you!
I definitely wake up a sore neck sometimes. I can’t sleep in weird positions like I used to! 🙂 These cookie bars sound delicious, Mir! I love that you took a linzer cookie and made it into a bar. So much fun to eat! And the raspberry jam sounds like the perfect touch!
Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Gingerbread Smoothie
Hate that neck thing. But you know, sugar cures all, Gayle!
By the way, I’m getting excited for fudge week. Here it comes!
Ooo these look amazing Mir! I love almond meal in baked good, gives such a nice flavor!
Manali @ CookWithManali recently posted…Chocolate Chip Cookies
Thanks, Manali! It’s one of my favorite flavors. Of all time!
Oh man, my mouth is watering. These bars look awesome!! Definitely need to step up my workouts for this one!
Aimee @ ShugarySweets recently posted…Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies
There’s a reason they went right into the freezer, Aimee…oddly dangerous, these bars!
I wake up with neck pain at least once a month. Glad you are feeling stronger than ever Mir! Love all the wonderful sweets that come out of your kitchen! So creative and of course delicious! Love reading your blog because it is so much fun ! Pinned!
Mira recently posted…Cocozia Review and Coconut Pomegranate Martini
That’s the best compliment ever, Mira. Thanks so much!
You are amazing Mir! These bars look totally divine!
Trish – Mom On Timeout recently posted…Chocolate Caramel Christmas Wands + BEST Kids Table!
Thanks so much, Trish! You are too kind. 🙂
I want, no wait, I need some of these! They look awesome!
Need is the right word, at least for me, Tori! Thanks!
These cookie bars look so inviting with all the nuts and chocolate!
Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted…Double Chocolate Poppy Pistachio Torte
The nuts make me super happy. As does the chocolate. It’s all good, Angie!
Those look amazing Mir! I do the same thing, freeze everything after baking and trying one or two, and then have to force myself not to dive into the freezer to have another taste! It’s too bad you can’t forget about them once they’re out of sight in that freezer! 🙂
Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. recently posted…Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix
Yep, the freezer doesn’t always act as a deterrent, Stacey. Sadly, I love frozen desserts!
The rcipe and photos look great,
Baking Tuts recently posted…COVERED PEAR FLAN
These bars look fabulous!! Come to mama! 😉
Jocelyn@Brucrewlife recently posted…Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn
I can’t do that. I must eat them all myself, Jocelyn! 🙂