Chewy Almond Squares

Sometimes I want to bake something sweet, but I just don’t want a big fuss with a mixer or running the oven for an hour. These chewy almond squares fit the bill. They’re basically blondies, but made with almond extract instead of vanilla, and with chopped toasted almonds mixed in instead of butterscotch. A big thank you to commenter Chris who made these substitutions on our blondie recipe and shared how well they turned out!

Chewy Almond Squares Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 9 squares.

To make the decorative almond halves, take a whole raw almond and pinch it between your fingers. Use a serrated bread knife to carefully cut the almond in half. The almond has a natural break-point so it should split easily once you start to cut it.

No need for a mixer for this recipe, all you need is a whisk and a strong spoon.

You can easily double this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, 112 g), melted, plus butter for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon of almond extract
  • 1 cup (128 g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup toasted, blanched almonds, chopped
  • Whole almond halves for decoration

 

  • One 8x8-inch baking pan

Method

1 Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan with butter. Toast blanched almonds if you have not already done so, and when cool, roughly chop them.

2 In a mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until there are no more lumps of brown sugar. Whisk in the beaten egg and almond extract.

3 In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pinch of salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix until smooth. Stir in the chopped almonds.

smooth surface of batter in pan make surface cuts to mark squares, place an almond in the middle of each

4 Pour into the prepared baking pan and smooth the surface. You can "cut" the surface with a knife to make it easier to see where you will want to make cuts once the squares are done. Place an almond half, cut side down, in the middle of each square.

bake until done

5 Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

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Chewy Almond Squares

30 Comments

  1. LaWanda

    Another simple recipe from Simply Recipes! Just one quick question. You mention that we can easily double the recipe. If I do that would I use a 9×13 pan? Thanks Elise.

  2. Mary Alexandra Agner

    If I wanted to make this non-dairy by replacing the butter with veggie oil, how much oil should I use? Thank you!

    • Elise

      Hi Mary, I don’t know. What do you usually do, a straight substitution?

      • Mary Alexandra Agner

        I’m trying it out for the first time, as a gift for a friend, so I don’t have a “usually”. :(

        • Gary

          I would melt the required stick of butter (8oz) into a liquid and sub that amount of liquid with vegetable oil. Try it first before giving those squares as a gift. You may even try other oil such as avocado and such….However, butter is the best when it comes to baking and or cooking.

        • Leslie Scalfano

          I would suggest coconut oil as a good substitute for butter in this type of recipe. 1 for 1 sub, so 1/2 cup = 1 stick butter. It works well for me for brownies. Smells and tastes great too.

          • Elise

            Great suggestion Leslie, thanks!

          • Catherine

            Or use a non dairy spread, like a soya one. I am in the UK so don’t know brand names over there. Also, I am pretty sure margarine doesn’t have dairy in it. Or use an olive oil spread, we have Olivio here.

    • RunnerGirl

      I’m going to try this with coconut oil & coconut sugar!

    • RunnerGirl

      I made them today with coconut oil, coconut sugar & gluten free flour. They are a little crumbly – I think from the GF flour & I may have over baked by a few minutes – but they taste great!

      • Sandy S

        Hi Runner Girl! I am thinking of whipping an egg white, to fold into the batter just before spreading in the baking pan the next time I make these yummy treats. Which will be a while, as I like them way too much! lol I have never used coconut sugar. Sounds great! They might also be good with date sugar for a change. As I say, I have to put the brakes on this recipe for a while. But certainly will be making it again. Enjoy!

  3. Gary

    These are delicious and easy to make. The combination of a buttery and almond taste is fantastic. A couple of squares with a nice Cappuccino that’s would be even better. I would even go as far as adding a small dollop of Creme Chantilly on top. Now that’s what I call….Molto Buono.

  4. sue/the view from great island

    The more almond flavor the better, as far as I’m concerned…and even though I don’t usually bake gluten free, I wonder if I could substitute almond flour for the regular flour in these…

  5. Rachel Cooks

    I bet the almond-intensity in these is just amazing! Definitely bookmarking this for later!

  6. Yangli

    Hi, thanks for this recipe, I want to try it but one question, what exactly the weight when u said “one cup” or “1/2 cup”? How much grams for one cup?

  7. Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today

    I love your simple recipes <3

  8. FoodCrafters

    Very nice Elise! I can totally see these chewy bites play well with crunchy caramelised pecans for contrast or pistachios for extra flavour boost!! Can’t wait to try it :)

  9. Kate @ Babaganosh.org

    Now that’s a great idea for how to use some of my Costco-sized bag of almonds that I decided I NEEDED to have for some reason. Thanks for the recipe :)

  10. Sandy S

    Elise you are on a roll with so many nice summer recipes! As the last of these gems disappear with my morning coffee, I am writing to say Yes! Yes! Yes! these will be made again. So easy to make a GF version with any GF flour substitute. I had forgotten how pleasant the scent of baking with almond extract can be. There is a simple puff pastry (somewhat like éclairs) that is made with flour, eggs and almond extract and then drizzled with a simple icing. Anyone know what I am talking about? Would love the recipe.

    • RunnerGirl

      Good to know that these are easy to make gluten free – I was going to try them that way!

  11. Jessica @FoodLuvBites

    Got everything needed for this recipe, stoked! Thank you.

  12. Earl

    Bet you can’t eat ONE!

  13. Bruce

    My wife made these yesterday, soooo good! I made a lemony whipped cream to top it off and it was the perfect balance.

  14. Jackie Graves

    Reply to Sandy S
    Look up cream puff dough on Google. The one from Cake Boss is for a cake not puffs.

    • Sandy S

      Thanks Jackie! I had to do a little searching, but I found the recipe I had in mind. It’s called Almond Puff Pastry.
      Here is a link: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/almond-puff/
      Quite simple but for those who love pastries, it’s a real treat. We used to always make it around the holidays, as it keeps well and can be made a day or two ahead. The scent of Elise’s Chewy Almond Squares recipe reminded me of it. It’s way off my diet these days, so good thing I have this recipe of Elise’s which can be made gluten free and with coconut oil!

  15. Carol

    How can I tell if my almonds are blanched, says whole almonds all natural. I know I have to toast them, but do I have to blanch them?

    • Elise

      Blanched almonds don’t have any of the dark skin (which can be a little bitter), they are white and usually slivered or cut into baton shapes. I wouldn’t recommend using whole almonds for this because of the bitterness factor of the skins, but that said, I haven’t tried using whole almonds (other than for the last decorative step). If you try it anyway, please let us know how it turns out for you.

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