Saturday, June 18, 2011

Aunt Elma's Almond Bars-- Russian Tea Cakes with a Difference

Category: Cookies and Bars
Difficulty Rating: Easy

My mom had a wonderful aunt named Elma Robinson. Married to my mother's sweet Uncle Chet, she was tall and striking. She also had a knack for talking to younger people and would chat to us at length about important things that concerned us. Like whether maxi skirts or midi skirts were coming into fashion. Things like that.

My mom has always contended that Aunt Elma was the best baker in her family. I never tasted anything she had made, except one. Her Almond Bars. They are mostly butter, sugar and flour with powdered sugar on top--like Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cakes. But the difference is: these have ground almonds. It makes them taste...oooh so good. Betcha can't eat just one! Easy and fun to roll into peanut shapes or balls, this is one for the kids to make with you!

Ingredients:

1 lb butter
6 T powdered sugar
2 C ground, blanched almonds
4 C flour
1 t real vanilla extract
1 box sifted powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients together (this will be a very stiff dough). Shape into balls the size of walnuts. Alternatively, make the balls into peanut shapes by putting your index finger in the middle of a dough ball and rolling it once. Aunt Elma did it this way--it was cute! Bake at 400 degrees on a greased cookie sheet until cookies just start to brown on the bottom. Remove from oven and cool to just slightly warm . Roll in powdered sugar on a flat surface (I use a paper plate). Then cool completely. Roll in powdered sugar again. Serve or pack into containers to give as gifts!

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