What’s a Dutch Letter you say? It’s the best almond pasty that ever lived. Dutch Letter Bars are the next best thing. They bring all the decadent almond flavor into an easy to make bar. Once you make these, you’ll be asked to make them again and again.
My husband was on the road last week in Pella, IA, a Dutch community and home of Jaarsma Bakery, which makes some of the best Dutch Letters. It’s my very favorite thing to have when we go to the Downtown Farmers’ Market , so I was thrilled when he brought one home for me. If you’ve never had the pleasure of having a Dutch Letter from Jaarsma Bakery, you’re missing out! The perfect flaky pastries with a rich almond filling are one of a kind. If you’ve never heard of a Dutch letter, then well, you haven’t lived a full life. Dramatic much? I say not.
My mom used to make dozens of these every year with her friend who is Dutch. It was such a treat when we got to pull one out of the freezer to bake up. I may not have the patience to try to recreate these on my own, but these Dutch letter bars come a close second on almond tasty goodness, in a no patience needed bar form. If you’d prefer to leave the sliced almonds off, the bars are still so good. It just adds a little extra flair and crunch.
- 3/4 cup salted butter, softened
- 1 (8 ounce) can almond paste
- 3 eggs, separate 1 egg into yolk and white
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- sliced almonds (for topping)
- coarse sugar (for topping)
- Heat oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine butter, almond paste, sugar, 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk and extracts.
- Mix in flour until dough forms and is fully mixed.
- Spread dough in 9x13 pan and brush with egg whites.
- Sprinkle course sugar and almonds on top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake.
- Let cool and cut into bars.