Monday, February 6, 2012

Cherry-Almond Nanaimo Bars

Love is in the air! I have a clutch of Valentine’s Day recipes coming your way over the next few days! Forgive me, but I’m not going to photograph every recipe I’m presenting for this romantic day. These sweet treats are lusciously calorific, but if your darling has a sweet heart and an even sweeter tooth, these pink, cherry-filled triple-layer bars are really quite wonderful! They’re among my tried-and-true favorites.
Cherry-Almond Nanaimo Bars:
To Prepare the Bottom Layer:
½ c. butter or margarine
¼ c. granulated sugar
⅓ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
1 c. sweetened medium-thread coconut
1-¾ c. graham wafer crumbs
½ c. finely chopped almonds
Add the butter, sugar, cocoa, vanilla and beaten egg to a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, graham wafer crumbs, and almonds. Pat firmly into greased 9-in. square pan. Chill at least 1 hr.
To Prepare the Filling:
¼ c. butter or margarine, softened
2 tbsp. cherry juice
1 tsp. almond extract
2 c. sifted icing sugar
⅓ c. coarsely chopped maraschino cherries
Cream butter, cherry juice, and almond extract. Gradually beat in icing sugar until mixture is completely smooth. Stir in cherries. Spread over chilled bottom layer in pan. Chill at least 30 min., until firm.
To Prepare the Top Layer:
2 1-oz. squares semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
Partially melt chocolate and butter over - not in - simmering water. Remove from heat and stir until completely melted. Drizzle chocolate over chilled cherry-almond filling. Chill until set. Makes approximately 30 bars.

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