Gooey Chocolate Almond Squares…12 Weeks of Christmas Treats

Can you believe that Christmas is only 12 weeks away?  The year has flown by, has it not?  To get you in the holiday mood, I’ve once again joined Brenda from Meal Planning Magic in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop.  Every Thursday through December 13th, I will share a delicious treat with you.  If you’re interested in joining our group, please visit Brenda and drop her an email.  Now, on to the deliciousness….

So, these bars are so rich and gooey that they are definitely a once-per-year treat – I had a tiny square (wish I could have eaten a large square), and I was over the moon.  Gooey, chewy, chocolate-laden, and the caramelized almonds on top… ecstasy!

The husband, who thinks he is in the “I hate coconut” camp, ate one of these and all I could hear was “mmmmm, man, these are good!” The coconut texture is not visible, but you do get a hint of flavor.  If you don’t like coconut, leave it out, as the original recipe did not include coconut – I tossed it in on a whim.

These treats are on my list for the office cookie exchange this year because I love the ease of a bar cookie, and they are delicious!  Enjoy!

Gooey Chocolate Almond Squares

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

3 eggs
3/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar 
1 cup coconut (I used Angel Flake) 
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12-ounce package)  semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups sliced almonds

For Crust
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 13×9-inch baking pan.
Beat flour, butter and brown sugar in small mixer bowl until crumbly. 
Press onto bottom of prepared baking pan.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

For Filling
Beat eggs, corn syrup, sugar, coconut, butter, extracts, and salt in large mixer bowl. 
Stir in chocolate chips and sliced almonds; pour over hot crust.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until set. 
Cool completely in pan on wire rack; slice into squares.

Adapted from Nestle Best-Loved Cookies, Chocolate Walnut Pie Bars


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