Marzipan is one of those love-it-or-hate-it treats. I’m really hoping that most of you love it, since it’s one of my favorite things in all the world.
If you catch a whiff of almond extract and you want to drink the bottle, then you love marzipan. If not, well, yep. Sorry. You can come back next week when I have some fun spooky treats set to go!
These are buttery cookie bars topped with a gooey layer of baked marzipan and toasted almonds. I’ve had to hide these in a dark corner of the freezer to avoid consuming every last one.
Like marzipan, acquired tastes abound, and not just in food. I made the mistake of recommending Pitch Perfect to my parents last week. When I saw that movie with Kenny and my brother at the movie theater, we fell out of our seats with tears streaming down our cheeks. We were laughing that hard.
The night my parents sat down to watch the movie, I got a very short e-mail from my mom along the lines of, “This movie sucks.” She informed me that it wasn’t funny, had bad music, and that she and my dad just didn’t get it.
I’m assuming that it must be a generational issue, right? Because people in my age group (not to mention my beloved high school students) loved that movie. And the music, too. I mean, college a capella is so strongly embedded in our culture nowadays, but it probably wasn’t back when my parents were pursuing higher education.
So the movie didn’t mean much to them, and I’m okay with that. I still think that a girl doing snow angels in vomit is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
After all, don’t so many things take time to appreciate? Like Ugg boots, or kale? But once we’re there, we’re there. And I’ve been appreciating marzipan since I was little tiny, thanks to my German grandparents.
Yep, marzipan is a German thing. But I’ve managed to add American flair by putting it on a cookie bar. Because, as you know by now if you read my blog, bars are my jam.
The key to making a good cookie bar is to make it nice and thick. Then it’s just so much fun to bite into. The sticky marzipan topping along with the crunch of the toasted almonds means that your texture senses will be so happy right along with your taste buds.
Just be wary of the marzipan. You want to brown it, but don’t let it go too long. The top should be firm, but underneath will be that fantastic gooey layer right before you get to the soft, thick cookie bar.
Not everyone has the same taste, which is a mercy. And it can take some time to fall in love with something, which is why I became obsessed with sushi after years of not wanting it. Just be glad that some tastes are acquired. They just want to take the time to get to know us!
Almond Marzipan Cookie Bars
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
1 package (8 oz.) almond paste
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup almonds, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil, leaving enough to hang over the sides. Coat with cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts and mix again. Gradually add the flour, mixing until just incorporated.
- Pat the cookie dough onto the prepared pan evenly. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- While the bars are baking, make the topping. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the almond paste with the brown sugar and egg until well combined.
- Spread the mixture over the bars after they come out of the oven. Sprinkle the chopped almonds on top.
- Bake for another 15-20 minutes until the marzipan topping is browned and set.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.