With rum-soaked cranberries in sweet homemade marzipan, these chewy bars are perfect for the holidays. Dust the cooled squares with confectioners’ sugar for a pretty presentation.
- 1 cup blanched almonds
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon egg white
- 1/4 cup spiced rum or brandy
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
- For marzipan, place almonds and 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar in a food processor; cover and process until blended. Add the extract, corn syrup and remaining confectioners' sugar; cover and process for 1 minute. Add egg white; process until mixture forms a ball. Remove and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
- Meanwhile, in a microwave, heat rum on high until it begins to boil, about 30 seconds. Stir in cranberries; set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts. Combine the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Stir into creamed mixture just until combined. Chop marzipan into 1/4-in. pieces; add marzipan, rum mixture and almonds to creamed mixture.
- Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 4 dozen.
Originally published as Marzipan Squares in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2013, p151
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