Holiday Almond Bars
25 1

Holiday Almond Bars



One of the most traditional events during the holidays is a cookie exchange. If you've never been lucky enough to take part in one, you don't know what you're missing! What you do is arrange a get-together with your friends or family and everyone shows up with enough homemade cookies, brownies or other treats for the whole group. Then, everyone takes a few (or more than a few) of each variety, leaving at the end of the evening with an amazing assortment of goodies. Basically, it’s bring one, bring home A LOT.

I am invited to a cookie exchange coming up at a friend’s house. I want to make something a little bit different than the usual sugar or gingerbread cookies, so I'm bringing these Holiday Almond Bars. They're soft like a cookie on the bottom with a crunchy almond topping and no refined sugar, making them a refreshing change from the sweets you're used to this time of year.

Perfect to give as a gift for your little one’s teacher, as a unique surprise for a cookie party or just as a treat to share with you kids, these bars are a special treat that may just become a new holiday baking tradition for you!

Holiday Almond Bars  (Makes 24 Bars)

  • Prep Time: 5 mins,
  • Cook Time: 25 mins,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
One of the most traditional events during the holidays is a cookie exchange. If you've never been lucky enough to take part in one, you don't know what you're missing! What you do is arrange a get-together with your friends or family and everyone shows...


  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup honey or agave
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raw almonds, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon water


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. 2. Place flour, salt and nutmeg in a bowl and stir to combine.
  3. 3. In another bowl, whisk together egg, honey, butter and vanilla.
  4. 4. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet and stir.
  5. 5. Place batter into a 7×11 inch baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  6. 6. In a bowl combine 1 tbsp of honey with 1 tsp of water to loosen the honey, and toss with the almonds.
  7. 7. Sprinkle the almonds on top of the batter to cover.
  8. 8. Bake for 25 minutes.
  9. 9. Cool, cut into bars and serve.
Holiday Almond Bars

Nutrition Information

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  2. Terri

    December 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    I added 1/2 tsp. almond extract and 1/2 tsp. vanilla to replace the 1 tsp. vanilla. Added a more almond flavor. Really rich “cookie” but delicious. Thanks Catherine!

  3. manin76

    March 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Just did this few days ago and they were a big hit with everyone! As someone suggested here, I added chocolate chips to half the batter and is really good !! Great recipe! Thanks,

  4. Sally

    November 29, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    how far in advance can I make these? Are they “freezable”?

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  6. Mignon

    December 18, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    These are foolproof. I ran short on honey and grabbed the maple syrup (the real stuff) to use too. Also was short on the flour and topped off with bread flour! Substituted almond extract for the vanilla. All in all, they are very good! Not overly sweet. Used a 9 X 9 baking pan. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Patty

    December 18, 2010 at 7:00 am

    These were really tasty, but I can’t help feel like something went wrong.

    I made exactly to the recipe (using honey, not agave), and I barely had enough batter for thin 1/4″ bars in an 8×8 pan. It would have never covered a 7×11.


    • catherine

      December 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm

      I tested this recipe 3 times, they should be about an inch thick. Hmmm

  8. Nikki

    December 15, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Made these earlier this week and they were a big hit with the adults and kids. And I didn’t feel guilty letting my little one have seconds.

  9. Sarah

    December 15, 2010 at 10:26 am

    What about using Almond Extract in place of Vanilla?

    • catherine

      December 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm

      sounds amazing! I would add the vanilla too!

  10. Sue

    December 13, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Ok, this might be defeating the purpose of creating a healthy cookie/bar, but what do you think of the idea of adding chocolate chips to the batter?

    • catherine

      December 14, 2010 at 5:29 pm

      Love it!

  11. Caitlin

    December 9, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Do you think this recipe is worth trying with an egg substitute(i use ground flax seed “egg”)? Anyone try this recipe without using an egg? They look yummy!! I always use flax eggs for your muffin recipes and others and they turn out great but this one i’m not sure if it would work any advice would be great :)

  12. Natalie

    December 8, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Any thoughts on using an alternative to wheat flour in these? They look really yummy but my son’s just been diagnosed with a wheat (not gluten) allergy.

    • Joy

      December 12, 2010 at 12:38 pm


      I have been using white spelt flour for all of my Christmas baking. I have used it for shortbread-based squares and my very discerning young adult kids said they could taste no difference and the texture was the same. I very successfully use whole spelt flour for every-day baking such as muffins.

    • catherine

      December 9, 2010 at 1:45 am

      Can he have spelt flour. It would be a good substitute. I use it all the time!

  13. Amber

    December 8, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I can not wait to try these! Thank you so much for making them without sugar. As always, you have amazed me :)

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  15. Sophie

    December 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    If only I could send this in my son’s lunch. He LOVES all nuts and this is a great ‘treat’ without being too unhealthy. I am starting a campaign at our school to allow nuts and have a nut-free lunch area.

  16. Lisa

    December 8, 2010 at 8:36 am

    How did you slice your raw almonds? or, do I just buy the sliced almonds? Thanks for this recipe, especially with no sugar. These look amazing!

    • catherine

      December 9, 2010 at 1:44 am

      I buy them at Trader Joes raw and sliced. Most groceries carry them this way too.

  17. Maureen

    December 8, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Thank you for such a wonderful recipe! My father is allergic to chocolate and when I showed him this recipe this morning he smiled and said ooh chocolate free brownies!

  18. retro sweets

    December 8, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Looks yummy indeed! And without sugar this is clearly my healthiest cookie of the month. Wonderful, wonderful!

  19. Michelle

    December 8, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Those look wonderful! Thank you for making them with no sugar! I can’t wait to try them!