Christmas Chocolate Layer Bars

This is a "must" on your Christmas cookie list! I have made these for years ( minus the slivered almonds and M&Ms). I worked with a nurse who sold assorted cookie boxes ever Christmas; she gave me this recipe (only after asking a million times).


Christmas Chocolate Layer Bars

Ingredients
For the crust:

  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened just slightly {do not substitute margarine}
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. almond extract


For the chocolate filling:

  • 12 oz. (2 c.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1 c. slivered almonds
  • 1 c. red & green M&Ms


Directions

  1. PREPARE THE CRUST:  Mix together flour, sugar, and baking powder. Cut butter into small pieces. With an electric mixer on low speed, blend in almond extract, butter and eggs. (Mixture will be VERY crumbly ... do not over mix. If mixed together too well, the crust will bake up very hard.)
  2. Put 2/3 of the crumb mixture in the bottom of a greased 9x13" baking dish; pat down very lightly with your fingers. Set aside.


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