Let’s keep this one short and sweet. Short, as in, if you’re in a pinch and need a quick dessert, these delicious, chewy, cake-like almond squares can be made in a flash. Sweet, as in, they’re perfect anytime you’re craving something sugary, but don’t want the hassle of a complicated recipe. (Hello, every summer dinner dinner party ever?) Drizzle a little melted chocolate over them to dress them up a bit – but even if you don’t, I guarantee they won’t last long. See? They knock it right out of the park on both fronts – short and sweet.
Toasted Almond Squares
makes 24 squares
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup roughly chopped and toasted almonds (optional garnish)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, melted (optional garnish)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a square 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper or grease the pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
With a mixer, combine the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the almond extract, mixing until all ingredients are well combined. Next, add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time to the butter-and-sugar mixture until all ingredients are well combined.
Evenly distribute the dough into the baking pan. Use the back of a spoon to gently smooth out the surface of the dough.
Next, if desired, make the toasted almond garish by placing the chopped almonds in a dry skillet. Over medium-high heat, warm the almonds, tossing frequently, for 5–8 minutes, or until they become golden and toasted. (Be careful not to burn them.) When done, sprinkle the almonds evenly on top of the dough.
Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 18–20 minutes, or until the center is cooked though. The dough is done cooking when a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to cool on a rack before cutting into squares.
To garnish the almond squares with chocolate, if desired, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until completely melted. Using a spoon, immediately drizzle the chocolate over the almond squares. Allow the chocolate to cool and harden before serving. Enjoy!