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Spiced Almond Bars Recipe

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) 70 percent vegetable-oil spread, softened

2 tablespoons orange marmalade (spreadable fruit)

1 egg white

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup wheat germ, any flavor

2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 to 2 teaspoons fat-free milk

1/3 to 1/2 cup sliced almonds

For the icing

3/4 cup powdered sugar

3 to 4 teaspoons fat-free milk

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Heat oven to 325 F. Spray 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray.

To make bars: In large bowl of electric mixer, beat until well blended brown sugar, vegetable-oil spread and marmalade. Add egg white and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract; beat well.

In medium bowl, combine flour, wheat germ, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda; mix well. Add to mixture in mixer bowl in three portions; mix well.

Gather dough into a ball; divide into four equal parts. Shape each part into a 12-inch log. Place two logs 5 inches apart on each cookie sheet. With hands, flatten each log into a strip about 2 1/2 inches wide. Brush with 1 to 2 teaspoons milk; sprinkle with almonds.

Bake 11 to 13 minutes or just until set. (Cookies should be soft. Do not overbake.) Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet. Cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch-wide strips. Cool completely on wire rack.

To make icing: Combine powdered sugar, milk and almond extract in small bowl, adding enough milk for desired consistency; mix until smooth. Drizzle icing over cooled bars. Let stand until set. Store tightly covered.

Yield: 3 dozen bars.


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