Gluten-Free Cherry Almond Shortbread Bars
These Gluten-Free Cherry Almond Shortbread Bars are buttery, easy-to-make, and unbelievably delicious. The sweet-tart cherry jam and crunchy almond topping take these bars to next level delicious, making them perfect for Valentine’s Day.
I’ve been experimenting with gluten-free baking these past few weeks, slowly becoming more comfortable with the abundance of gluten-free flour alternatives that now grace my pantry shelves. I have to say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
Cookies bake up tender and soft on the inside with a crisp, golden brown exterior. Brownies have not disappointed with their dense, fudgy center. Donuts with a melt-in-your-mouth center.
I was expecting the transition to be harder than it has been, but I can honestly say I’m not missing out on anything. I made these Gluten-Free Brown Butter & Toasted Almond Cookies for the holidays and I couldn’t tell the difference. Guess what? Neither could anyone else. That’s when you know you’re winning at this whole gluten-free thing.
I have found that pasta is the exception, which is a bummer because I love the stuff! I’m still trying to find a brand I’m happy with. So far I’ve been disappointed with the texture, but I’m sure I’ll come across a tasty alternative soon. When I do, I’ll be sure to share the details with you. Heck, I might even make my own.
One thing at a time…
Starting with these ultra-buttery Cherry Almond Shortbread Bars. Because you deserve the best, I did not skimp on the almonds. I used a generous helping of Diamond of California slivered almonds in the batter and another generous sprinkle of their sliced almonds on top of the cherry jam layer. This is definitely a case where the more almonds, the better!
I made these bars during the holidays in 2016 and, of course, failed to write down the recipe. Don’t worry, I gave myself a fierce talkin’ to for that mistake. I won’t be doing that again. All I remembered was that the bars were a hit during the holidays and cherries were involved. I worked diligently to re-create the delicious bars and finally(!) succeeded, which I’m glad I did because I was growing tired of eating shortbread bars (gasp! I know).
The shortbread dough bakes up dense and soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. I loaded the dough with slivered almonds and they add a lovely crunch to the bars, not to mention toasted almond goodness. The splash of almond extract enhances the cherry flavor and plays nicely with the sweet cherry jam topping, which, let’s face it, is the best part.
These Cherry Almond Shortbread Bars are the perfect sweet treat for Valentine’s Day. Don’t be surprised when they disappear fast!
Gluten-Free Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies
Yield: 1 (8-inch-by-8-inch) pan
Total Time: 40 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup cherry preserves
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8-inch-by-8-inch square baking pan with parchment so that it overlaps on all sides.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy and pale in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract; beat until combined. Add the flour and salt to the bowl and beat until just combined. Fold in the slivered almonds.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared pan. Press the dough evenly into the pan. Spread the cherry preserves evenly over the dough and sprinkle with the sliced almonds.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or just until the sides begin to turn light golden brown. Cool completely in the pan. Cut into squares. The bars will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. They're best served at room temperature.
- This recipe can be made with equal parts of regular all-purpose flour. The instructions and baking time remain the same.
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Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with Diamond of California. All text and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for your continued support as I work with brands I love and that make One Sweet Mess possible!