Raspberry White Chocolate Bars

Raspberry White Chocolate Bars

1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1 (12 ounce) bag white chocolate chunks or 2 (6 ounce) bags white chocolate, chopped (divided)
2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract or amaretto
3/4 cup raspberry jam or raspberry spreadable fruit

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease and flour 8- or 9-inch square pan. Toast sliced almonds in frying pan over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until they begin to color and become fragrant, about 7 minutes. Pour out of pan and set aside.

Melt butter and 1 cup of the white chocolate chunks (or half of the chopped white chocolate) together in small pan over very low heat, stirring constantly. When all has melted, set aside.

In small bowl of electric mixer, beat eggs until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at high speed until lemon-colored. Stir in white chocolate mixture. Add flour, salt and almond extract; mix at low speed until just combined. Spread half of batter into prepared pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven, but leave oven on.

Meanwhile, stir remaining half of white chocolate chunks or pieces into remaining half of batter; set aside. Melt jam in small saucepan over low heat. Spread jam evenly over warm crust. Gently spoon teaspoonfuls of remaining batter over jam. (Some jam may show through batter.) Sprinkle with almonds. Return to oven; bake 30 to 40 minutes more, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Makes 24.

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