Much like one-pot stews, one-bowl desserts are easy to make and require a minimum of post-enjoyment clean-up. One-bowl desserts are a little bit harder to track down than one-pot stews, though, especially when the dessert in question includes a crust, a layer of cake, and icing. But since these squares are almond all the way from the top to the bottom, you can mix each layer in the same bowl. And using almond butter as the base for the icing means that you’ll have a creamy, moist top layer instead of the teeth-jarringly-sweet patina of sugar that encases most cakes.
If you’d like to ratchet up the lemon quotient of your dessert, opt for lemon juice in the crust rather than cider. But if you’re in a fall frame of mind, go ahead and use the cider. Likewise, feel free to add a few dashes of cinnamon or nutmeg to the crust. Almonds pair beautifully with spices!
Almond-Lemon Squares with Almond Butter Icing
For the crust:
1 cup almond flour, preferably ground fresh from sliced almonds (it only takes about 15 seconds in a coffee/spice grinder to turn sliced almonds into almond flour)
1/2 cup millet flour OR sorghum flour*
1/4 cup sucanat
6 T. chilled butter, preferably from grass-fed cows (Kerrygold is a great choice)
3 T. cider OR fresh lemon juice (see note in header paragraphs)
For the cake:
5 eggs, preferably from pastured hens
1 cup sucanat
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup millet flour OR sorghum flour*
Dash of salt if you used unsalted butter in the crust
For the icing:
1/2 cup almond butter
2 T. powdered sucanat (run sucanat through a coffee/spice grinder for 15 seconds to powder it)
1 T. fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 11″x7″ baking pan with butter.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and sucanat. Cut the butter into chunks and then use a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter into the flour, cutting it into finer and finer crumbs as you go. When you have smaller-than-a-pea-sized crumbs, stir in the cider. Scrape the crust out of the bowl and into the pan and press firmly to create a crust on the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
While crust is baking, whisk together all of the cake ingredients in the same large bowl. Pour onto cooked crust (whisk it again right before pouring), scraping down the sides with a spatula to get every last drop, and bake again for 25 minutes or until the edges are browning and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
To make the icing, stir together the icing ingredients with a small spoon. (Note: using the same bowl does mean that you may have traces of raw egg in the bowl that get stirred into your icing. I use pastured eggs that I buy from a farmer and I have no problem with consuming my eggs raw, but if you’d rather not possibly eat raw egg, you may wish to break the one-bowl rule and make the icing in a clean bowl.)
Taste the icing to see if it’s too sweet or not sweet enough. If it’s too sweet, squeeze in another squirt of lemon juice; if it’s not sweet enough, stir in a little more sucanat. Spread on cake as soon as cake has cooled. Store in refrigerator to keep the icing fresh, but let stand at room temp for an hour prior to serving for optional texture and flavor. Squares can be refrigerated for up to a week.
* These are gluten-free flours. If you’d rather make a wheat-based version, opt for kamut, spelt, or whole-wheat flour.
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