Cherry Almond Crumb Bars

inspired by Smitten Kitchen
1 cup sugar
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
8 ounces almond paste
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
½ cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
4 cups cherries
½ cup sliced almonds

Mix together 1 cup of sugar, the flour, baking powder, salt, egg, almond extract and almond paste. Using a pastry cutter or a food processor on pulse, cut butter chunks into the mix. It should be crumbly. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, cornstarch and cherries.

In a 9×13” pan press half of the crumb mixture in the bottom. Top with the cherry mixture. Spread into an even layer. Mix the sliced almonds into the remaining crumb mixture. Top the fruit with the crumb mixture in an even layer. Bake at 375º F for 45 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Allow to cool slightly before eating. Serve warm (with ice cream) or store in the refrigerator and serve cold. They are delightful both ways.

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