Poppy Seed Bars

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For the Filling:
1 1/2 cups poppy seeds
1/2 cup blanched, sliced, and toasted almonds
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup milk
4 teaspoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the Base and Topping:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners' sugar; more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup blanched, sliced, and toasted almonds
8 oz. (16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
1 egg




FOR THE FILLING: Combine the poppy seeds, almonds, and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse until fine. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and add the remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture boils and thickens to a syrup, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

FOR THE BASE: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch pan. Combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, baking powder, and almonds in a food processor. Pulse to blend. Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and place it on top of the flour mixture. Pulse again until the butter pieces are the size of a pea. With the machine running, add the egg through the feed tube. Pulse until the dough forms a ball. If the blade lifts up, remove the dough and finish mixing by hand.

TO ASSEMBLE: Pat half the dough into the buttered pan, flouring your hands if the dough sticks to them. Pour the cooled filling over the base. Crumble the remaining dough over the filling to create a topping. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the topping is browned. Let the bars cool before cutting; if you like, dust them with confectioners' sugar.


Active Time:  25 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour 25 Minutes
Yield: 4 Servings

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